Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in jeopardy

Three people familiar with the matter said Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is in serious jeopardy, with Musk’s camp concluding that Twitter numbers on spam accounts cannot be verified.

One person said that Musk’s team has stopped engaging in certain discussions about financing the $44 billion deal, including with a party purported to be a potential backer. People spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the ongoing discussions.

Conversations with investors have subsided in recent weeks as Musk’s camp has raised doubts about the recent “fire hose” data – a set of data sold to corporate clients – they received from Twitter. The people said the Musk team’s suspicions about the spam numbers indicated that they believed they did not have enough information to assess Twitter’s prospects as a business.

Elon Musk lines up a growing list of investors to dominate Twitter

One person said that now that Musk’s team has concluded that the Twitter numbers of spam accounts cannot be verified, they are expected to take drastic action.

The person said it was likely that a change of direction from Musk’s team would come soon, although they didn’t say exactly what they thought the change would be.

If Musk withdraws from the deal, it could potentially lead to a huge legal battle.

Twitter accepted a $44 billion takeover offer from Elon Musk on April 25. Why did he want to buy the social media giant? (Video: Hadley Green, Julie Yeon/The Washington Post)

The terms of the deal state that Musk must pay $1 billion to break the deal, but legal experts have said Twitter may try to force Musk to go through with the purchase if the reason for his spoiling does not depend on the company’s core business. When he made his bid in April, Musk waived his right to take a deeper look into Twitter’s finances. Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy declined to comment. Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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In reverse, Twitter plans to comply with Musk’s data demands

Musk rocked the social media world earlier this year with his unprecedented offer to make the company private, arguing that he would be able to grow Twitter and make it more open and, in his view, politically neutral. He said he would allow former President Donald Trump to return to the service and argued that content moderation practices violated freedom of expression.

But soon after, questions arose about whether he would actually follow suit. The global sale of tech stocks slashed his personal net worth, which he had leveraged to secure debt commitments he needed to buy Twitter.

At the Financial Times Future of the Car summit on May 10, the CEO of Tesla said that President Donald Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter was “completely stupid.” (Video: Financial Times)

Musk’s enthusiasm for pursuing the deal has been in question since at least May, when he said the deal was “I’m waiting“So he could ascertain whether Twitter’s claim that less than 5 percent of the accounts were bots or spam was accurate. Twitter was accused of withholding the information, while the company said it was acting in good faith and offering whatever the terms of the deal required.”

“Twitter was not cooperative,” said a person familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the conversations.

The The debate over robots Twitter is nothing new. The company has long said that about 5 percent of its accounts are bots or spam, while outside researchers have sometimes said the number could be much higher. Due to the speed with which tactics for creating and concealing the nature of fake accounts are changing, it is difficult for even experts to make strong statements about who is right.

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