Elon Musk Threatens to End Buyout Deal with Twitter Over Fake Accounts

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, BNN Edit)
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, BNN Edit

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is threatening to end his $44 billion buyout offer of Twitter, accusing the social media company of not complying with his request for data on how many fake accounts exist on the site.

“Mr. Musk is not required to explain his rationale for requesting the data, nor submit to the new conditions the company has attempted to impose on his contractual right to the requested data,” Musk’s lawyer Mike Ringler said in a letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde.

Twitter Exec Vijaya Gadde

Twitter Exec Vijaya Gadde (Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickr)

Elon Musk shades his eyes in front of a Tesla

Elon Musk shades his eyes in front of a Tesla ( Maja Hitij /Getty)

“At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement,” Ringler added.

Ringler went on to say that “based on Twitter’s behavior to date,” Musk “believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement.”

“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” Ringler said.

Last month, Musk — who was successful in his $44 billion bid to buy the company and take it private — said his deal with Twitter “cannot move forward” until the company clarifies the number of bot accounts on the platform.

The SpaceX CEO added that his offer was based on “Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” and that he believes the platform could have 20 percent bots “or *much* higher.”

Musk threatening to end his deal with Twitter arrives on the heels of the billionaire saying he plans to cut ten percent of the jobs at his electric carmaker because he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy.

The company planning to institute a hiring freeze has also caused a 3.5 percent plunge in its stock price in intraday trading.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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