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Elon Musk said on Tuesday that his Twitter takeover cannot proceed until the social media platform is able to prove that less than 5% of its users are bots.
Musk claimed that 20%, or even more of Twitter’s accounts are likely to be bots- far higher than the 5% posited by Twitter in a recent filing.
The Tesla CEO had temporarily paused the $44 billion deal with Twitter last week, citing concerns over the number of bot accounts. This comes after Musk was able to solicit over $27 billion in funding for the takeover.
Twitter deal on indefinite hold?
In a tweet on Tuesday, Musk further questioned the validity of Twitter’s 5% claim. He said that the takeover offer for the social media platform was made on the belief of Twitter’s SEC filings “being accurate.”
Musk also claimed that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal had publicly refused to show him proof of the 5% claim.
This deal cannot move forward until he does, Musk tweeted.advertisement
Still, Musk had said earlier that he remained committed to taking Twitter private. Considering that he has secured backing from several investment houses and banks, this may be the case.
Cleansing the site of bot accounts is one of the Tesla CEO’s top priorities for the social media platform. He also intends to possibly integrate cryptocurrencies into the platform, and make it open sourced.
Is Musk fishing for a discount?
Musk’s delay tactics have also fuelled speculation that the world’s richest man may be fishing for a lower takeover price. Twitter’s shares have slumped over 20% since he put the deal on hold last week.
Shares are now trading at $37.39- well below Musk’s offer of around $54 per share. This may give him more leverage in the deal.
Recent reports also suggest the Tesla CEO is open to buying the platform at a lower price.