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ELON Musk has said his deal to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold” over details around the number of spam and fake accounts present on the site.
The billionaire agreed a £34.5 billion deal to take over the social media giant last month, pledging to improve free speech on the site and remove fake accounts.
But in a tweet on Friday, Musk said the deal is now on hold “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
His tweet linked to a report published earlier this month which said Twitter estimates spam and fake accounts comprise less than 5% of its daily users.
It is unclear why Musk has said this detail would compromise the deal, and the Tesla boss has not tweeted any further on the issue.
One industry expert has suggested Musk’s interest in the number of real and fake accounts on the site could be linked to his possible plans to boost Twitter revenue through user subscriptions and advertising.
Twitter’s share price plunged by around 18% in pre-market trading following his tweet indicating the deal was temporarily on hold.
The board of Twitter has agreed to a $44bn (£34.5bn) takeover offer from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Twitter has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stockholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the proposed transaction. The purchase price represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Mr. Musk disclosed his approximately 9% stake in Twitter.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.