Billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday that his bid to buy Twitter will not be continued until he receives evidence of the number of spam accounts suffering on the platform, which adds more uncertainty to his pursuit of the social media giant.
This latest turnaround to his $ 44 billion move to acquire a key platform has sparked speculation as to whether the world’s richest man has tried to lower the price or even abandon the deal.
A few hours after the morning tweet Mask of Boots Twitter insisted that the deal be carried out without delay.
“Twitter seeks to complete the transaction at an agreed price and terms as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement accompanying documents to the US regulator.
Last week, Musk tweeted that his bid for the campaign was “temporarily suspended” pending questions about its estimates of the number of fake accounts or bots.
Then early Tuesday, he insisted on more information, writing to his nearly 94 million subscribers on the social network: “Yesterday, the CEO of Twitter publicly refused to show evidence <5%."
“This deal can’t move forward until it does,” he added.
Twitter CEO Parag Agraval said the platform suspends more than half a million seemingly fake accounts daily, usually before they’re seen, and blocks another million weekly who don’t check to make sure they’re controlled by people, not software.
Internal measures show that less than five percent of accounts active on any given day on Twitter are spam, but this analysis cannot be repeated externally because of the need to store users ’personal data, Agraval claimed.
Musk announced that the actual number of bots could be four times more than Twitter claims, and “could be * much * higher,” and said getting rid of them would be a priority if he owned the platform.
“So how do advertisers know what they get for their money?” In the next answer, Musk wrote on Twitter about the need to prove that Twitter users are real people.
“This is fundamental to Twitter’s financial health.”
– ‘Under pressure’ –
The process used to estimate how many accounts are bots was common to Mask, Agraval insisted.
An estimate released Friday by software firm SparkToro, 19.42% of Twitter accounts are fake or spam, but the company acknowledges that its methodology for identifying bots is likely different from that used by Twitter.
SparkToro has a tool on its website that shows that more than 70 percent of Mask followers are fake accounts.
“The spam / bot problem seems to be cascading and is clearly making the Twitter deal confusing,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors.
“The problem with the bot after all … is more like the occasion of the ‘dog ate homework’ to cancel the deal on Twitter or talk about a lower price.”
Twitter’s assets will be under pressure again this morning as the chances of the deal eventually being concluded do not look good now, “Ives said, adding that it is likely that in our view, Musk will eventually abandon the deal. and pay the gap fee ”.
Another technology observer, Grady Butch, tweeted Mask, “it looks like buyers have repented.”
After slipping ahead of the market call, Twitter shares rose slightly on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter called on its shareholders to vote for the buyout of Mask for $ 54.20 per share in cash at the upcoming special meeting.
Musk described his motivation as the result of a desire to provide freedom of speech on the platform and increase the monetization of the website, which is very influential but struggling to achieve profitable growth.
He also said he was in favor of lifting the ban on Donald Trump, who was ousted from the platform in January 2021 because of fears that the ex-president could cause violence.