Elon Musk “temporarily suspended his capture of Twitter” due to concerns about the amount of spam and fake accounts on the social networking platform, raising new doubts about whether Tesla’s CEO will execute the $ 44 billion deal.
The billionaire businessman said on Twitter on Friday that the deal is being conducted “to the details that confirm” the calculation in the company’s regulations, which shows that the number of fake accounts on the platform is less than 5 percent of 229 million users.
The assessment was included in the company’s quarterly documentation last week. The same calculation has also been reported in each quarterly filing since 2014.
The statement immediately hit the stock price of Twitter, with shares falling about 20 percent in trading ahead of the U.S. market.
Two hours later, Musk wrote an additional tweet in which he said he was “still looking to acquire.” This helped the shares parse the losses, bringing them down 11 percent to $ 40.02.
The deal with Twitter has been suspended until details confirm that spam / fake accounts actually account for less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
It is unclear what the legal implications of his notice were and what exactly the grounds he had to postpone the deal.
The doubts caused by Mask’s tweet are the latest example of a whirlwind in which the deal came togetherwhich even led to Musk waiving his right to exercise due diligence during the negotiations.
Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter is now trading at a 26 percent discount to a price of $ 54.20 per share, which Musk agreed to pay in mid-April, signaling that investors do not believe the deal will happen around that price and may not be at all.
Shares of Tesla, which have fallen 33 percent since Musk said on Twitter that he is seriously considering buying a social networking platform in late March, rose nearly 7 percent in trading in front of the New York market.
Earlier, Musk said one of his priorities for the platform is to “defeat spam bots or die trying” and authenticate human accounts.
In Twitter statements eight years ago, the company said less 5 percent of its daily active users that can be monetized have been fake or spam accounts.
“We have taken this definition seriously, so our estimate of fake accounts or spam accounts may not accurately reflect the true number of such accounts, and the actual number of fake or spam accounts may be higher than we estimated,” he said. Twitter. in its latest quarterly filing.
Musk’s move came just a day after Twitter CEO Parag Agraval announced immediate hiring freeze, measures to reduce costs and care for the two top executives. The company has faced long-term pressure from investors due to slow growth compared to competitors such as Meta and TikTok.
The billionaire’s bid to buy Twitter caused a shock in the technological and financial world, although many speculated that Musk was not serious about the deal or that he would eventually leave. The head of Tesla has agreed to pay $ 1 billion for a break if he withdraws from the agreement.
Daniel Ives, a strategist at Wedbush Securities, wrote in an analyst note: “The Street will view the deal as 1) the likelihood of collapse, 2) Musk is negotiating a lower deal price, or 3) Musk is simply withdrawing from the deal with a 1 billion rupture fee dollars.