A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the agency will decide next month whether to do an in-depth antitrust probe of the Twitter deal – a move that could delay its closing by months.
The FTC declined to comment. Musk could not be reached for comment.
Experts have said antitrust issues likely won’t arise in an investigation of Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Neither Tesla, nor Musk’s other company, SpaceX, are social media platforms, so antitrust concerns are not expected to arise when regulators review the deal.
The FTC is already investigating Musk’s initial 9% stake purchase in Twitter to see whether he complied with antitrust reporting requirements.
The Open Markets Institute has criticized the Twitter deal, warning that it represents a threat to "American democracy and free speech" and suggested the deal is illegal.
"The Open Markets Institute believes the deal poses a number of immediate and direct threats to American democracy and free speech," OMI Director Barry Lynn said in a statement. "Open Markets also believes the deal violates existing law, and that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have ample authority to block it."
Musk has vowed to overhaul Twitter by easing free speech restrictions, winning praise from conservatives while stoking outrage among the left.