Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter could still go ahead, if the details of the social media platform’s actual user accounts can be confirmed.
Musk wants to know how many are “spam bots” and how many are real people.
The billionaire CEO of Tesla agreed to buy Twitter in April for $44 billion but has been trying to back out of the deal since July, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said posed fraud. and breach of contract.
Twitter sued him last month to complete the acquisition and Musk countered.
The two sides are headed to a trial in October in a Delaware court.
ELON MUSK’S REAL ATTACK WITH TWITTER TERMINATED
“If Twitter only provides their method of trying 100 accounts and how they are verified to be real, the deal should continue on original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if it turns out that its SEC filings are materially false, it shouldn’t.”
Musk, who has more than 100 million Twitter followers, went on to challenge Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a “public debate about the Twitter penalty rate.”
Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that it could be higher. Musk waived the right to additional due diligence when he signed the merger agreement in April.
MUSK’S COUNTERSUIT AGAINST TWITTER SAYS HE AND WALL STREET WERE MISSED: REPORT
In details reported on Musk’s countersuit, he accuses Twitter of intentionally “miscalculating” the number of spam accounts it hosts in order to gain insight into user metrics “as part of a plan to mislead investors about the company’s prospects.”
He also claims that Twitter’s reliance on metric mDAU, or monetized daily active Twitter users, as a revenue base is itself misleading.
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Twitter responded in a Delaware Chancery Court filing, calling Musk’s reasoning “a story, concocted in an attempt to escape a merger deal that Musk no longer found attractive.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.