Twitter (TWTR) Deal 'Cannot Move Forward' Until There's More Clarity on Bot Numbers - Musk

May 17, 2022 5:45 AM EDT

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Elon Musk said the deal with Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) will not progress until the social media company proves that spambots represent less than 5% of its total users, Tesla CEO tweeted on Tuesday.

"My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5% (spam accounts). This deal cannot move forward until he does," Musk wrote in a tweet.

Last week, Musk put his $44 billion takeover bid on hold as he sought information about Twitter’s spambot accounts, with the Tesla CEO suspecting spambots represent a minimum of 20% of total users, compared to Twitter’s projections of 5%.

"You can't pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed," Musk said at the All-In Summit 2022 conference.

The billionaire also suggested that the price of the deal could change, saying it is “not out of the question.” Shares of Twitter closed 8.18% lower on Munday, raising questions about whether Musk would move forward with the deal at the agreed price of $44 billion.

Twitter stock price is down a further 2.7% in pre-open Tuesday following the latest tweets from Musk.

In response to Musk’s days-long criticism, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted Monday that the company’s estimates of the number of spambot accounts on the platform stood below 5%. He said that the estimates, which remain unchanged since 2013, cannot be reproduced externally as it would require both public and private data to identify a spambot account.

Musk responded to Agrawal’s claims by tweeting a “poop” emoji and calling for random samples of Twitter users to identify bot accounts, arguing that "there is some chance it might be over 90% of daily active users."

By Senad Karaahmetovic

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