Elon Musk admitted on Monday that his agreed $ 44 billion Twitter purchase could fail and that a lower price is “not ruled out”, adding concerns on Wall Street that he is reconsidering his bid for the company.
Comments at the All-In summit in Miami came three days after Musk said on Twitter that he was closing the deal. “on hold“Because of fears that there were more fake accounts on the platform than the‘ less than 5 per cent ’claimed by the social media company.
On Tuesday morning, Musk was again accused of Twitter CEO Parag Agraval refusing to provide evidence of the number of fake accounts. He tweeted that “the deal can’t move forward until he does.”
There is a mask in the comments fueled speculation on Wall Street, that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX sought to reconsider the deal or leave altogether, though he said he was still committed to the deal.
Asked on Monday whether his purchase would take place on Twitter, Musk said: “It really depends on a lot of factors. I’m still waiting for some logical explanation for the number of fake or spam Twitter accounts. And Twitter refuses to let us know. That seems like a strange thing. “
He said he believes at least 20 percent of the network’s accounts are fake and that the share could reach 90 percent.
Mask faces a $ 1 billion fee if he leaves, although Twitter may also sue him to force him to close the deal if he cannot point to any material information that was not disclosed at the time of the deal.
Musk said it could be a “significant adverse distortion” if the number of bots far exceeds the 5 percent reported by Twitter. “As if you said,‘ OK, I agree to buy your house. You say there are less than 5 percent termites in the house. This is an acceptable figure. But if it turns out that the correct percentage is 90 percent of termites, it’s not. “
Musk touched on the problem of fake accounts after regulations repeated earlier this month a standard warning that his estimate “may not accurately reflect the true number” of fake accounts, and the true total number “may be higher.”
The timing of his intervention in the long-running affair has raised concerns on Wall Street that he is using the issue as an occasion to resume talks.
On Monday, shares of Twitter fell nearly 8 percent, leaving them 30 percent below $ 54.20 per share Musk agreed to pay for the campaign. Much of the decline came before reports of the billionaire’s comments on the potential payoff at a lower price.
Earlier on Monday, Musk challenged Agraval on the platform after the Twitter CEO posted a lengthy topic outlining the methodology of his assessment that spam is less than 5 percent of his user base, arguing that the figure could not be accurately established before the third. parties without access to data such as IP addresses, geolocation and telephone numbers.
Agraval wrote: “We do not believe that this particular assessment can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we cannot share).”
He added that “the error of our estimates gives us confidence in our public statements every quarter.”
“A week ago, we shared with Ilona an overview of the evaluation process and look forward to continuing the conversation with him and all of you,” Agraval wrote on Twitter.
Musk replied with a smiley face with a pile of stakes. In a second tweet, he wrote, “Since advertisers know what they get for their money? This is fundamental to Twitter’s financial health. ”
Musk also said at an event in Miami that he was open to the idea of turning Twitter into something like Western WeChat, a comprehensive “superprogram” in China that allows users to shop, text and post on social media in one app. .
“Such an application would be really useful (in the West),” Musk said, adding that he was not sure whether Twitter should become this super application or whether it should be created from scratch. But one thing he was sure of: “This thing must exist.”