Elon Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter is reportedly in danger of falling apart after Musk’s team concluded that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are not verifiable, according to sources close to the negotiation.
The Washington Post reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter is in danger of falling through as sources say that his team has concluded that Twitter’s figures on bot and spam accounts are not verifiable. Musk’s team has reportedly stopped engaging in certain discussions around funding for the $44 billion deal, including with one group named as a likely backer of the deal.
Negotiations with investors have also reportedly cooled as Musk’s team has raised doubts about the recent data “fire hose” Twitter provided to Musk. Musk’s team’s doubts about the spam figures appear to signal that they don’t think they have enough information to make an accurate assessment of Twitter’s viability as a business.
Sources say that now that Musk’s team has concluded that it can’t verify Twitter’s figures on spam accounts, it is believed that Musk may take drastic action. One source said that a change in direction from Musk’s team was likely but did not elaborate on what that may mean.
Twitter share prices have also fallen significantly since Musk agreed to purchase the company for $44 billion in April, meaning that he may be overpaying on the deal. But, the deal’s terms have made it hard for Musk to walk away.
Musk agreed to complete the deal unless something major happens to Twitter’s business and legal experts believe that the bot problem may not be sufficient for Musk to walk away without incurring a $1 billion breakup fee.
In June, experts warned that determining which Twitter accounts are bots and which are real people may not be as easy as Musk thought. Twitter has claimed that spam or fake accounts make up around five percent of its daily active users, but Musk believes the number is close to 20 percent.
Micah Schaffer, a consultant for social-media companies on trust-and-safety issues who has previously held positions at YouTube and Snap Inc., said that providing Musk with the data is “more of a shut-up-and-go-away kind of thing than a major concession.”
Schaffer further noted that despite having access to a number of data scientists to review the information given by Twitter, Musk “would have to replicate their [Twitter’s] process somehow to credibly dispute their behavior.”
Read more at the Washington Post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com