Elon Musk suggested he might want to pay less for Twitter, as the owner of the social media company expressed more concern about the presence of fake accounts on the platform.
The Tesla CEO said his decision to reduce the offer to $ 54.20 per share would not be “out of the question” after he asked for the number of spam accounts on Twitter a few days after “holding” the bn 44bn (bn 36bn) deal.
Musk said at the All-In-Summit in Miami that the deal was based on Twitter’s response to his concerns about the fake account.
“It really depends on a lot of factors here,” he said in a commentary reported by the Financial Times. “I’m still waiting for some sort of logical explanation for the number of fake or spam accounts on Twitter. And Twitter is refusing to tell us. That sounds weird. “
Twitter has repeatedly stated in its quarterly results over the years that less than 5% of its users have spam or fake accounts. When companies use a term that seeks to repurchase or scrap, Musk said it could be a “materially negative misstatement” if it appears that the amount of fake or bot accounts on Twitter is more than 5%.
“Like if you say okay, I’m going to agree to buy your house,” he said. “You say there are less than 5% termites in the house. This is an acceptable number. But if the exact percentage is 90% termites, that’s not right. “
Lawyers have questioned whether Mask could withdraw from the deal by focusing on the bot issue – or seek a new deal at a lower price. The deal includes a $ 1 billion break fee if Musk leaves, although Twitter may also introduce a clause that could force Musk to complete the deal at $ 54.20 per share.
Twitter shares fell just 8% to close at $ 37.39 on Monday, with the stock just before Mask’s release said he was Twitter’s largest shareholder.
Meanwhile, Musk’s relationship with Twitter’s management reached a new low after he tweeted a Pu emoji to the platform’s chief executive on Monday.
– Elon Musk (lonelonmusk) May 18, 2022
Musk responded to a detailed Twitter thread posted by his Twitter rival, Parag Agarwal, explaining the company’s policy on spam accounts. Musk opposes Twitter’s claim that less than 5% of its users have fake or spam accounts and says it will audit itself.
Agarwal explained that dealing with automated spam accounts is a “dynamic” process that requires combating “sophisticated and difficult to catch” actors. He added that some of the accounts that appear to be spam are actually run by real people.
“The tough challenge is that many of the accounts that appear to be fake are actually real people. And some spam accounts that are actually the most dangerous – and the ones that do the most harm to our users – may look perfectly legitimate on the page, “he wrote. Data access was required.
Agarwal ended the thread with a link to a company’s blogpost on spam accounts, revealing that Twitter had discussed with Mask a week ago how he had estimated his spam numbers and that the company was looking forward to “continuing the conversation with him.”
Kasturi responds with a pu emoji, asking a few minutes later how advertisers on Twitter know what they are getting for their money.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting paid for? This is fundamental to Twitter’s financial health, “he tweeted.
On Saturday, Musk tweeted that Twitter’s legal team had accused him of violating a non-disclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size was 100 for social media platform checks on automated users. Last month, Mask criticized Twitter employees involved in the tweet, despite the entrepreneur agreeing not to “insult” the company or its representatives when concluding the deal to acquire the social media platform.
Musk’s behavior, underlined by his comments in Miami, has led to speculation that he is laying the groundwork for a revaluation of the deal or withdrawal from it, which would cost the world’s richest man েক 1 billion in break fees. Some experts doubt whether the billionaire is serious about buying the company.
“I really don’t know if Elon wants to buy Twitter,” said Drew Pascarella, a senior lecturer in finance at Cornell University. “At first, I didn’t think he was serious. He then teamed up with banks and financiers and came up with a valid acquisition plan. Now he has called for a timeout on an issue that is both well-known and should have no effect on his future plans for the company. If he has the attention he is looking for, he has it. But does he want to own Twitter? Has he ever done that? “