Elon Musk is considering terminating his $44 billion (41 billion euros) deal to acquire Twitter. In a stock market document, he accuses the company of “actively resist” to its requests for information about bots and spam, which it considers a clear breach of the social network’s obligations under its takeover bid. “Mr. Musk reserves all resulting rights, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement”is it written in a letter addressed to the legal manager of Twitter and published on the site of the American authority of the financial markets (SEC).
After filing an offer to buy the social network in April, the multi-billionaire boss of Tesla has repeatedly questioned the data transmitted by Twitter on spam, fake accounts and the measures taken to limit their proliferation. . According to the social network, these represent less than 5% of registered accounts, but, for Mr. Musk, fake accounts would represent 20% of users.
After a first agreement, in April, the purchase had already been suspended by Elon Musk, before resuming negotiations, due to his doubts about the real proportion of spam and fake accounts on the platform.
“Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details relating to its testing methodologies, whether through written documents or verbal explanations, amounts to denying Mr. Musk’s claims for data.”, is it written in the letter. However, it is also affirmed, the entrepreneur needs more information to prepare the transition and finalize the financing of the operation.
Disputes with the boss of the social network
After previous criticisms of Mr. Musk, the boss of the social network Parag Agrawal had explained at length, in mid-May, the measures taken to fight against fake accounts. Mr. Agrawal had notably indicated that the figures of Twitter, according to which less than 5% of the accounts of the platform are fake, were “based on multiple replications of human analysis of accounts, which are randomly selected”.
The whimsical entrepreneur had responded to these explanations with an emoji in the shape of poop. “How can advertisers know what they are really paying?he also tweeted. This is a fundamental question for the financial health of Twitter. »
This new episode in the saga of the takeover of Twitter is part of the expiration, Friday, of the deadline granted to the American competition authorities to launch a thorough examination of the operation. They did not seize the file, thus leaving the field free to continue the finalization of the transaction.