Elon Musk Puts $44 Billion Twitter Deal 'On Hold' [Updated]

Elon Musk is putting his $44 billion takeover of Twitter "temporarily on hold" after the company claimed that less than 5% of its users are spam or fake accounts.

twitter elon musk
The Tesla chief tweeted on Friday that the deal was being frozen while he waited for details backing up Twitter's claim:

"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."

Musk linked his decision to a May 2 Reuters report referring to a filing with the US financial regulator, in which Twitter asserted that fake and spam accounts represented less than 5% of its daily average users:

We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.

Following Musk's announcement in April that he was offering to buy Twitter, the Tesla CEO said that he wanted to make the social media platform "better than ever" with new product features that will defeat spam bots and authenticate all humans.

As Friday's story broke, Twitter's share price fell by as much as 25% in pre-market trading, and is currently down around 15%.

Update 4:53 a.m.: In a follow-up tweet, Musk says he is "still committed to the acquisition."

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Top Rated Comments

Dan From Canada Avatar
29 months ago

Seems like only yesterday Must realized that content moderation was hard.

Oh wait.
Musk has no problem trying to silence critics of Tesla.
He lives on a one way street.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LukeHarrison Avatar
29 months ago

So am I getting it right - he now considers to NOT buy it, because Twitter has "only so little fake accounts"?
(my question is genuine, because english is not my 1st language and I really don't get it).
I think the point is Twitter themselves say there are so few fake accounts, but Elon (and the rest of us, frankly) think that there's many more than that.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dan From Canada Avatar
29 months ago
I created a twitter account many years ago when they went online.
Over the years Twitter has become nothing but a toxic cesspool of politics, from either side.
Goodbye Twitter. The account has been dead for months and will stay that way.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
raybo Avatar
29 months ago

Wonder if he’s having cold feet. How does it matter how many accounts are fake? Once he takes over, he can check and change anything he wants. Doesn’t seem like a substantial reason to put the deal on hold. Or probably there’s some angle I don’t understand.
It's illegal for a publicly traded firm to overstate its value. If the fake accounts were found to be 15% or 20%, for example, the stock price would be overvalued.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
29 months ago
He’s probably trying to devalue it so he can buy it for less.

Realistically for a turd circling the bottom of the bowl it’s pretty overvalued.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ewestlund Avatar
29 months ago
So you’re telling me that Elon Musk does, in fact, care about the economics of buying Twitter.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)