New twist in Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover legend: the businessman threatens in an official document to withdraw his offer because the social network is “actively resisting” his requests for information on spam and fake accounts, which denied the platform.
The multi-billionaire believes that by not sending all the data it requests on the subject, Twitter is violating its obligations, according to a letter addressed to the social network and published on the American authority’s website of the financial markets (SEC).
Mr. also provides. Musk reserves the right “not to finalize the transaction”, it added.
The platform reacted by saying in a message to the AFP that it was sharing information with Mr. Musk “in accordance with the agreement reached” and that it has every intention to complete the transaction, at the price agreed.
The boss of Tesla and SpaceX, which in April made an offer to buy the social network for $ 44 billion, questioned on several occasions the data Twitter sent to spam and fake accounts and the steps taken to limit its spread. And he has already threatened on his Twitter account to “hold” the deal because of it.
But this is the first time he has done so in an official document.
– Lower the price –
The trader is looking for a way of pressure “to lower the offer price or completely withdraw if he decides to do so”, suggests Angelo Zino of the CFRA company.
Mr. Musk, he recalls, waived his right to check the group’s accounts before announcing the deal.
Now it’s harder to “think of a scenario where it’s not fixed in court”, the analyst said.
Both parties have pledged to pay severance pay of up to $ 1 billion in certain circumstances.
One of the conditions of the deal, secret approval from competition authorities, was met on Friday, after the deadline for them to launch a scrutiny expired.
On the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter’s stock fell 1.5% on Monday to close at $ 39.56, far from the $ 54.20 price Mr. Musk in April.
The small magnitude of the decline “reflects investors’ deep skepticism about the completion of the operation ”, advance Susannah Streeter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Twitter estimates that the number of fake accounts and spam on the social network represents less than 5% of its daily active users.
But Mr Musk said the platform’s approach was not “adequate” and he should conduct his “own review”.
Twitter did indeed send the document on June 1, but only to offer further details on its procedure, the letter added.
However, the entrepreneur believes that he needs more information to prepare for the transition and finish financing the operation: the proportion of fake accounts in the network depends on the ability to obtain revenue from them through advertising or paid services. subscription.
Investigation in Texas
Towards the direction of Mr. Musk, the Attorney General of Texas announced Monday in a press release that he has launched an investigation to determine if the fake Twitter accounts represent 5% of subscribers, as claimed by the social network, or rather up to ‘at 20% or more, as the businessman said. That would then be “misleading” to consumers and businesses in Texas.
Ken Paxton’s services requested Twitter to send documents before June 27 explaining how the platform calculates and manages data to its users.
After earlier criticisms of Mr. Musk, the boss of social network Parag Agrawal split in mid -May a lengthy explanation of the steps taken to combat spam and fake accounts.
Mr. Agrawal notably indicated that the Twitter numbers were “based on multiple multiplication of human reviews on accounts, which were randomly selected”.
The strange businessman responded to these explanations with an emoji in the shape of shit. “How do advertisers know what they’re really paying for?” he also tweeted. “This is a major issue for Twitter’s financial health.”