On Friday, Elon Musk stepped up his drama about his $ 44 billion offer to buy Twitter and said it was a bargain. “Temporarily suspended” Before he could find out more about the volume of spam and fake accounts on the platform, he wrote on Twitter two hours later that he was “still committed” to the acquisition.
The announcements mark the latest chapter in the expanded corporate saga, which raises questions about online freedom of speech and accountability issues on one of the richest people in the world, the most influential social media platform.
Mr Musk, CEO of Tesla, said getting rid of the platform from fake accounts, bots and spam would be one of his top priorities after governing. In his tweet, Mr. Musk referred to Twitter’s May 2 regulatory statement, which included an estimate that less than 5 percent of Twitter users were spammers and fake accounts.
Mr. Musk’s comments, known for his free and sometimes impulsive business style, made many wonder about the future of the deal.
Twitter has several restrictions on account registration and the company has long been battling spam and bots. But it was difficult to determine the exact figure of the scale of the problem. In a regulatory document on May 2, Twitter said it estimated that less than 5 percent of its users were fake or spam, a figure it had previously revealed. Twitter has warned that it used a “significant decision” in its calculation and that its “assessment of fake or spam accounts may not be exactly the actual number”, the same language used in documents submitted by the company in the past.
Mr. Musk’s comments were seen as a tactic to reduce the purchase price, or an excuse to eventually pull back.
“Many see this as a mask for using these Twitter input / spam accounts as a way to escape this bargain in a changing market,” said Daniel Ives, a Wedbush analyst, in a note to investors.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr Musk’s unexpected offer has sparked a significant debate on Twitter over the role of the social media platform in controlling what its users say. Twitter has struggled for years with hate speech, harassment and other online insults, but Mr. Musk, who has a history of using the platform to attack and humiliate critics, has vowed to soften the company’s content moderation policy. On Tuesday, he announced he would lift the ban on former President Donald Trump.
How Elon Musk’s Twitter deal developed
Blockbuster deal. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has completed what appeared to be an incredible attempt by a famous Mercury billionaire to buy Twitter for about $ 44 billion. Here’s how the deal went:
Returning from a transaction can be dirty. The purchase deal includes a $ 1 billion commission that Mr. Musk will have to pay in the event of a termination of the deal, though it is unclear how such a clause would have been used if Mr. Musk could have proven the Twitter user’s data was incorrect. If Mr. Musk’s debt financing is to be intact, Twitter could take the billionaire to court to force him to pay the deal.
Mr Musk has vowed to use his personal assets to fund the Twitter deal, a plan that will be affected by the recent fall in stock prices, including by Tesla. Shares of Tesla fell nearly 30 percent last month. Mr Musk sells Tesla shares and puts them on collateral to raise cash for personal loans.
If the deal were to end, Twitter’s business challenges could force Mr Musk to exploit potential financial holes in addition to the stock available at the electric car maker. And any problem Tesla has had that has caused its shares to plummet enough could lead to Mr. Musk’s provisions on personal loans, which require him to add more collateral, limiting his ability to invest in Twitter.
Tesla shares rose on Friday after Mr Musk’s comments.
Mr. Musk’s offer has created uncertainty on Twitter, a company that is already trying to add users and generate more revenue. On Thursday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal fired two CEOs, suspended new hires and vowed to cut costs.