Tesla CEO, Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he cannot go ahead with his acquisition of Twitter unless the company publicly proves that fewer than 5% of the platform’s accounts are fake or spam.
Musk made that comment in a reply to another Twitter user on Tuesday morning.. The executive spent most of the previous day in a discussion with Twitter’s CEO, Paraj Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s efforts to combat bots and how has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake.
In his tweet on Tuesday, Musk said that “20% of fake/spam accounts, although it is four times what Twitter claims, it could be much more. My offer is based on Twitter’s SEC filings being reliable.”
Twitter declined to comment.
He added that: “Yesterday, the CEO of Twitter publicly refused to show proof of less than 5%. This deal cannot go forward until it does.”
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 he said was the most conservative threshold of his estimate, according to a report from BloombergNews.
At the All In Summit, Musk made his strongest comments yet that would want to pay less for Twitter than its $44 billion offer last month.
Musk said reaching a viable deal at a lower price would be a possibilityaccording to the report of Bloombergwho said he followed a live broadcast of the conference shared by a Twitter user.
Musk’s comments were likely to fuel analysts’ theories that the billionaire wants to break the deal or buy the company at a lower price. His tweet on Tuesday was in response to one from a Tesla website that speculated that Musk “I could look for a better price for Twitter because $44 billion seems too high.”
“Twitter stock will come under pressure again this morning as the chances of a deal being struck don’t look very good right now.”said Webush Securities analyst Dan Ives, who covers both Twitter and Tesla, in a research note.
The expert estimated that there just over a 60% chance that Musk would end up pulling out of the deal and paying the $1 billion penalty for doing so.
Musk made an offer on April 14 to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share.. The platform’s shares have since fallen and they are now around 8% lower at $37.39 as of Monday’s close.
After the new statements by Musk, in the negotiations before the opening of Wall Street on Tuesday the social network lost 1.85% to $36.70.
To finance the acquisition, he has pledged some of his Tesla shares, though these have lost a third of their value since the deal was announced.
(With information from AP)