After saying last week that the acquisition of Twitter was “temporarily on hold,” billionaire Elon Musk is now suggesting that the deal may not go through. The Tesla CEO has been outspoken about his battle against the bots and has accused Twitter’s leadership of not providing accurate bot-related information.
Musk might cancel the Twitter deal because of its misrepresentation of spam bots
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal detailed the company’s stance on bots and how it fights them. However, the answer clearly isn’t convincing the Tesla and SpaceX CEO. Musk’s comments came in response to a tweet by noted Tesla blog, Teslarati.
20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.Advertisement
My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.Advertisement
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
This is the first real indication that the acquisition may not happen. Musk’s tweet also references Agrawal, and we’re expecting an official response soon. The issue of bots and spam accounts appears to be at the root of this, though many believe this is just a tactic to decrease the sale price of the Twitter deal. Musk even said during a recent conference in Miami that a reduced sale price is “not out of the question.”
Canceling the deal would make Musk liable to pay a $1 billion “kill fee”
Things have escalated pretty quickly since Musk said he would acquire Twitter. It seemed almost certain that Musk would become the new owner of the platform. However, reports of trouble didn’t take long to surface. Not too long ago, Twitter’s legal team accused Musk of breaching its non-disclosure agreement (NDA) over the handling of bots.
Backing out of the deal will cost Musk, too. The billionaire is liable to pay a “kill fee” of $1 billion if the deal falls through. Musk’s most recent tweet comes after Agrawal refused to allow external sources to analyze Twitter’s bot count.
“Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share),” Agrawal said yesterday. Musk expressed his displeasure with a single emoji, which shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point.
The events of the last two weeks tell us that Musk’s acquisition of one of the largest social media platforms is far from complete. Legal experts believe that on top of the aforementioned $1 billion “kill fee,” canceling the deal would make Musk vulnerable to lawsuits. While we can’t predict what comes next, it’s clear that this isn’t the last we’ve heard on the matter.