New twist in the saga of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk: the boss of Tesla and SpaceX accuses Twitter of “actively resist” to its requests for information on spam and fake accounts and therefore threatens to withdraw its takeover offer from the social network.
In a letter addressed to the legal manager of the social network and published on the website of the American authority of the financial markets (SEC), the multibillionaire explains that by not transmitting to him all the data he claims on the subject, Twitter infringes its obligations.
“Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to finalize the transaction and its right to terminate the merger agreement”, is it also written in this document.
The boss of Tesla and SpaceX, who filed in April a social network takeover bid for $44 billion, has already questioned on several occasions the data transmitted by Twitter on spam and fake accounts and the measures taken to limit their proliferation. And he has already threatened on his Twitter account to put the deal “outstanding”. But this is the first time he has done so in an official document.
This new adventure demonstrates that the entrepreneur “look for a way to back out of the deal”, according to analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush. Twitter’s Board of Directors “will definitely oppose” to this version of events, he added in a tweet.
Elon Musk’s recent criticism of Twitter has sometimes also been interpreted as the entrepreneur’s way of revise the amount of the agreement downwards. Both parties have pledged to pay severance pay of up to $1 billion in certain circumstances.
According to Twitter, the number of fake accounts and spam on the social network represents less than 5% of its daily active users. But Elon Musk says the methodology employed by Twitter is not “adequate” and that he must carry out his “own analysis“. He has “repeatedlyasked the social network for more information, the letter states.
“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 document. However, it is also stated there, the entrepreneur needs more information to prepare the transition and finalize the financing of the operation.
After previous criticisms of Mr. Musk, the boss of the social network Parag Agrawal had split mid-May of a long explanation on the measures taken to fight against spam and fake accounts.
Mr. Agrawal had indicated in particular that the figures of Twitter were “based on multiple replications of human analysis of accounts, which are randomly selected”.
The whimsical entrepreneur had responded to these explanations with a scatological emoji. “How can advertisers know what they are really paying?”, he also tweeted. “This is a fundamental issue for Twitter’s financial health.”
This new episode in the saga of the takeover of Twitter comes after the expiration, Friday, of the deadline granted to the American competition authorities to launch a thorough examination of the operation. They did not take up the case, thus leaving the field open to continue finalizing the transaction.