Elon Musk: Doubts about spam accounts could ruin Twitter deal
Musk made the comment in a reply to another user on Twitter early Tuesday. He spent much of the previous day back-and-forth with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s efforts to combat bots and how it consistently estimates that less than 5% of Twitter -Accounts are fake.
In his Tuesday tweet, Musk said that “20% fake/spam accounts, while four times what Twitter claims could be much higher.” My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.”
He added: “Yesterday the CEO of Twitter publicly refused to provide any proof of 5%. This deal can’t move forward until he does.”
It’s Musk’s latest salvo over inauthentic accounts, a problem he’s said he wants Twitter to get rid of.
At a technology conference in Miami on Monday, Musk estimated that at least 20% of Twitter’s 229 million accounts are spam bots, a percentage that is on the low end of his estimate, according to a Bloomberg News report.
The battle over spam accounts began last week when Musk tweeted that the Twitter deal was on hold pending confirmation of the company’s estimates that they make up less than 5% of all users.
Also at the all-in summit, Musk gave the strongest hint yet that he would happily pay less for Twitter than the $44 billion offer he made last month.
He said a viable deal at a lower price wasn’t ruled out, according to Bloomberg’s report, which said he watched a livestream video of the conference posted by a Twitter user.
Musk’s comments are likely to reinforce analysts’ theories that the billionaire either wants to go out of business or buy the company at a cheaper price. His Tuesday tweet came in response to a Tesla news site speculating that Musk “might be looking for a better Twitter deal as $44 billion seems too high.”
Musk made an offer on April 14 to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share. Twitter shares have since fallen and are now down just over 8% to close at $37.39 on Monday.
He has pledged part of his Tesla shares to finance the acquisition, but these have fallen by a third since the deal was announced.
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