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Twitter wants to settle with angry investors for $ 809 million




Twitter said Monday that it is proposing a $ 809.5 million settlement in a 2016 securities class proceeding that alleges that the company misunderstood investors about user engagement figures. According to a news release, the complaint alleged a breach of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Twitter said it plans to use cash on hand to pay for payments in the fourth quarter.

The proceedings alleged that Twitter provided investors with misleading information about growth indicators, making the company look more financially sound than before. The complaint is that Twitter’s 2014 event with financial analysts has doubled its monthly active users (MAU) to more than 550 million and will increase revenue by $ 4.6 billion by 2018. It shows that it provided a realistic growth forecast.

The complaint alleges that Twitter has launched a shell game that attempts to hide user engagement from investors. User engagement was seen as a major driver of MAU’s growth. [H]ad Defendant provided investors with complete and accurate information about user engagement. Investors would have learned of Twitter’s MAU growth, which would have stalled our ability to generate revenue.

Twitter stopped reporting timeline views of key user engagement metrics in 2014, according to a lawsuit. This has made it difficult for analysts and investors to track the growth of a company. The timeline view was aggregated each time a user visited Twitter, updated the timeline to see more tweets, or performed a search. Twitter said the indicators were irrelevant at the time.

Instead, Twitter was able to include them as active users, as complaints began to include what they call low-quality growth indicators, such as sending automatic messages to hibernating users to prompt them to log in. This practice was outlined by reporter Nick Bilton in a 2016 Vanity Fair article.

It also attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission. After conducting annual securities filings, the company asked Twitter in April 2015 if it plans to provide alternative metrics to explain trends in user engagement and advertising services.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal at the time, Twitter told the SEC that it began to disclose how often users took action in response to ads and how much advertisers paid for that information. The SEC withdrew the investigation after this response, the journal reported.

Under the terms of the settlement proposed on Monday, Twitter will reject cheating and other improper conduct. The final agreement requires court approval.




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