On Monday, Elon Musk warned that he might walk away from his USD 44 billion offer to acquire Twitter if the social media network failed to provide data on spam and fake accounts.
In a letter to Twitter, the billionaire reiterated his request for details on bot accounts and said he reserved all rights to terminate the merger as the company was in a “clear material breach” of its obligations by not providing him with the information.
Breaking: Elon Musk threatened to end his deal to buy Twitter, accusing the company of not complying with his request for data on its spam and fake accounts https://t.co/U4d9XMyAX1
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 6, 2022
Twitter shares were down 5.5 percent at USD 38.13 per share and were trading at a steep discount to Musk’s offer of USD 54.20 per share, suggesting that investors did not expect the deal would close at the agreed price.
This is the first time Musk has threatened to walk away from the deal in writing as opposed to airing it on Twitter’s social media platform.
“At this point, Mr Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover,” the letter stated.
Twitter had previously downplayed Musk’s warning that the deal was “on hold”, arguing the data would help him prepare for his ownership of Twitter and that it was not meant to carry out due diligence and reopen negotiations.
Elon Musk acquires Twitter for USD 44 bn
Earlier in May, Musk said he would put the deal “temporarily on hold”, while he waits for the social media company to provide data on the proportion of its fake accounts.
In response, Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal had said the most advanced spam campaigns used combinations of humans and automation and that he did not believe the calculations could be performed externally, because it required both public and private information that Twitter cannot share.
“Mr Musk has made it clear that he does not believe the company’s lax testing methodologies are adequate so he must conduct his own analysis,” Mike Ringler wrote in the letter directed to Twitter executives.
Elon Musk, the wealthiest man alive according to Forbes, who owns 9.6 percent of Twitter and is its second-largest shareholder, has said one of his priorities will be to remove “spam bots” from the platform.