Will Elon Musk finally give up buying Twitter?

Will Elon Musk finally give up buying Twitter?

The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has taken the lead in the wing. A few days after suspending the acquisition process due to doubts about the share of fake accounts among platform users, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX indicated on Tuesday May 17 that the takeover of the social network for 44 billion dollars would not come to an end until it was guaranteed that less than 5% of the 229 million active accounts claimed by Twitter in its financial results are “fakes”.

“The executive director of Twitter yesterday refused to prove that less than 5% of the accounts were fake,” tweeted the billionaire, who has nearly 94 million subscribers on the social network. “Until he does, the transaction cannot go forward,” he added. Elon Musk refers to the explanations provided Monday by Parag Agrawal, the boss of Twitter, on the measures taken to fight against spam and fake accounts. The whimsical entrepreneur had responded with an emoji in the shape of poop.

In a video conference on Monday, Elon Musk also estimated that fake accounts accounted for at least 20% of Twitter users, according to the Bloomberg agency and tweets from people present at this event. “20% fake accounts and spam is 4x more than Twitter claims, but the real number could be *much* higher,” Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday.

Elon Musk had already announced on Friday to suspend the acquisition of the company, which he wishes to buy for 44 billion dollars, before rectifying the situation a few hours later by specifying that he was “still committed” to carrying out the operation well.

Musk will owe 1 billion to Twitter if the deal fails

The fake accounts targeted by Elon Musk are essentially bots, automated accounts driven by computer programs. They can be the result offollower purchases by human users wishing to increase their audience and their influence on the platform, but also used within the framework of campaigns of propaganda or to launch raids against other users. They are also more and more regularly used to scam users, via scams cryptocurrencies, in particular.

The proportion of this type of account among human users of Twitter is important data for its future acquirer because it determines the ability of the platform to monetize its audience through the sale of advertisements or paid subscriptions.

This new development casts serious doubt on the will of the businessman to complete the operation for which he nevertheless seemed to have completed his financing plan. Some analysts believe that Elon Musk is using this pretext to negotiate a lower purchase price with Twitter. According to New York TimesElon Musk could also seek to withdraw from the agreement for stem the decline in Tesla shareswhich account for most of his personal fortune.

If the operation were to abort, Elon Musk would however have to pay breaking costs of almost a billion dollars, in accordance with the commitment signed with Twitter. He could also be sued by the platform, unless he manages to prove that it deliberately lied about the number of fake accounts among its users.

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