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Musk says he could charge lower price for Twitter as he focuses on fake accounts | Twitter




Elon Musk has suggested he may seek to pay a lower price for Twitter as the future owner of the social media company has raised new concerns about the presence of fake accounts on the platform.

The Tesla CEO said it was not out of the question to cut his agreed $54.20 per share offer, days after he suspended the $44 billion ($36 billion) deal after he questioned the number of spam accounts on Twitter.

Musk told the All-In Summit in Miami that the current deal hinged on Twitter’s response to his concerns about fake accounts.

It really depends on a lot of factors here, he said in the comments 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 refuses to tell us. It seems like a strange thing.

Twitter has repeatedly stated in its quarterly results over the years that less than 5% of its users are spam or fake accounts. Using a term that can be cited when companies want to reprice or cancel deals, Musk said it could be a material misstatement if Twitter’s fake or bot accounts are found to be well over 5 %.

Like you’re saying, OK, I’ll agree to buy your house, he said. You say the house has less than 5% termites. This is an acceptable number. But if it turns out that the correct percentage is 90% termites, that’s not OK.

Lawyers debated whether Musk could walk away from the deal or seek a new deal at a lower price, focusing on the bot problem. The deal includes a $1 billion severance fee if Musk walks away, though Twitter could also enact a clause that could force Musk to close the deal at $54.20 a share.

Shares of Twitter closed Monday down just over 8% at $37.39, below where the stock was just before Musk revealed he was Twitter’s largest shareholder. .

Meanwhile, Musk’s relationship with Twitter management hit a new low on Monday after he tweeted a poop emoji at the platform’s chief executive.

Musk was responding to a detailed Twitter thread posted by his Twitter counterpart, Parag Agrawal, explaining the company’s policy on spam accounts. Musk disputed Twitter’s claim that less than 5% of its users are fake or spam accounts and said he would conduct his own audit.

Agrawal explained that fighting automated spam accounts was a dynamic process that required fighting sophisticated and hard-to-catch actors. He added that some accounts that appear to be spam are actually run by real people.

The difficult challenge is that many accounts that appear superficially fake are actually real people. And some of the spam accounts that are actually the most dangerous and cause the most harm to our users may seem entirely legitimate on the surface, he wrote. He added that estimating Twitter’s fake account numbers could not be done externally because the process required access to sensitive data such as IP addresses and phone numbers.

Agrawal ended the thread with a link to a corporate blog on spam accounts, while revealing that Twitter discussed how it estimated its spam count with Musk a week ago and the company is looking forward to continuing the conversation with him.

Musk responded with a poo emoji, followed a few minutes later by asking how advertisers on Twitter knew what they were getting for their money.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2022

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So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? It’s fundamental to Twitter’s financial health, he tweeted.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that Twitter’s legal team had accused him of breaching a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for social media platforms’ checks on automated users was by 100. Last month, Musk engaged with tweets criticizing Twitter employees, despite the contractor agreeing not to disparage the company or its representatives while he strikes the deal to acquire the platform. -form of social media.

Musk’s behavior, underscored by his comments in Miami, has sparked speculation that he is setting the stage to reprice the deal or walk away from it, which would cost the company $1 billion in severance fees. richest man in the world. Some experts doubt that the multi-billionaire is seriously considering buying the company.

Honestly, I don’t know if Elon wants to buy Twitter, said Drew Pascarella, associate professor of finance at Cornell University. At first I thought he wasn’t serious. Then he teamed up with banks and financiers and came up with a legitimate acquisition plan. Now he’s called a timeout over an issue that’s both well-known and unlikely to impact his future plan for the company. If he’s looking for her attention, he’s got it. But does he want to own Twitter? Has he already done this?

The Associated Press contributed to this report




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