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Elon Musk says he will rescind Twitter purchase until he gets clarity on amount of fake accounts

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter cannot proceed until the company shows public evidence that less than five percent of accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam.

Musk made the comment early Tuesday in a reply to another user on Twitter. He spent much of the past day with Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s efforts to fight bots and consistently estimating that less than five percent of Twitter accounts are fake.

Musk said in his tweet on Tuesday that “twenty percent of fake/spam accounts, while there may be more than four times what Twitter claims. My proposal was based on the accuracy of Twitter’s SEC filings.”

He continued, “Yesterday the CEO of Twitter declined to publicly show proof of five percent. This deal can’t move forward until he does.”

It’s Musk’s latest defense on unauthorized accounts, a problem he says he wants Twitter to get rid of.

At the Miami technology conference on Monday, Musk estimated that at least 20 percent of Twitter’s 229 million accounts are spam bots, as Bloomberg News reports, which he said was one percent on the low end of his assessment.

The battle over spam accounts began last week when Musk tweeted that pending confirmation of the company’s estimates that they accounted for less than five percent of total users.

Also at the All In summit, Musk gave the strongest signal yet that he would like to pay less than the $44 billion offer he made last month for Twitter.

He said a viable deal at a lower price would not be out of the question, as Bloomberg reports, adding that it was posted by a Twitter user who watched a livestream video of the conference.

Musk’s comments are likely to bolster analyst views that the billionaire wants to either pull out of the deal or buy the company at a cheaper price. His tweet on Tuesday came in response to one from the Tesla news site that speculated that Musk was “looking for a better Twitter deal because $44 billion seems like too much.”

“It appears the spam/bot issue is widespread and clearly confusing the Twitter deal,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives commented in a note to investors. “At the end of the day the bot issue was known by a New York City cab driver and we feel like an excuse to bail on a ‘dog ate homework’ Twitter deal or talk a low price.”

hard place

Despite the hitch, Twitter said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it plans to complete the deal at an agreed-upon price and terms, and that it is subject to the approval of Twitter’s shareholders and is expected to close in 2022. Twitter’s board of directors unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the deal.

“The Twitter board is stuck in a very difficult position as if they don’t accept a lower price for the deal (after negotiations to investigate the bot issue in the coming weeks) and if Musk actually walks away, the stock has A sub-$30 level will be visible with a broken deal in this volatile market backdrop,” Ives said.

Musk offered to buy Twitter on April 14 for $54.20 per share. Twitter shares have tumbled since then and are now down just over eight percent, trading at about $37.00 per share on Tuesday morning.

To finance the acquisition, he has pledged some of his Tesla shares, but they have fallen by a third since the deal was announced.

This story is basically . was published by CBS News May 17, 2022 at 6:22 a.m. ET.

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Reference from www.etonline.com

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