In less than three weeks after Twitter's Board of Directors accepted Elon Musk's $44 billion offer to take the social media company private, the world's richest person has put the deal on hold.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Twitter stock has plunged 18 percent since the announcement, CNBC reported.
Musk's fight against bots
While aiming to build robots for every household, Elon Musk has zero tolerance for bots on social media platforms. Musk has been very vocal about eliminating them from the platform and verifying real human users throughout the Twitter acquisition saga.
If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
In a filing earlier this month, Twitter revealed that it had served advertisements to 229 million users this quarter and its false or spam accounts represented less than 5 percent of its daily active users, Reuters reported.
Musk now wants the company to furnish calculations to show him the number is indeed less than 5 percent. Musk hasn't expressed particular concerns about this number, as he believed they were different. It also isn't clear why the deal is on hold now, when the numbers were in the public domain for over ten days, the Independent reported.
What are Musk's intentions with Twitter?
The move also raises doubts over Musk's claims that financial goals do not govern his Twitter buyout.
Earlier this week, we had also reported how Musk was in total control of the Twitter deal and had very little to lose if the deal did not go through. On the other hand, the Twitter stock would plummet if the buyout is not completed by later this year. Could it be that Musk is looking for a discount on the deal?
It isn't that like the spam account numbers are a new revelation about the company. By placing the deal on hold, Musk could walk away from the transaction. Going by his record of delayed communications to the SEC, it could also be possible that Musk has already offloaded his shares and the social media company is not on his list of priorities anymore.
This wouldn't be the first time Musk has gone back on his word. With Tesla, Musk began accepting Bitcoin for the cars and then reverted the company's position, citing environmental concerns, a move that sent Bitcoin through a dizzy.
Meanwhile, Musk has tweeted that he remains committed to the acquisition.
This was a breaking story and updated periodically.