Elon Musk says Twitter deal is ‘temporarily on hold’

Elon Musk said on Friday that his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter is “temporarily on hold” pending details of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform, another twist amid signs of internal turmoil over the proposed acquisition.

In a tweet, the Tesla billionaire linked to a May 2 Reuters story, citing a Twitter financial presentation that estimated that fake or spam accounts accounted for less than 5 percent of Google’s “monetizable daily active users.” the company in the first quarter.

“The Twitter deal is temporarily on hold pending details to support the estimate that spam/fake accounts represent less than 5% of users,” Musk wrote in his tweet, indicating he is skeptical that the number of non-authentic accounts is so low.

It was not clear if the problem could ruin the deal. Shares in both Twitter and Tesla swung sharply in opposite directions, with Twitter shares falling 18 percent, and Tesla, which Musk had proposed using to help fund the Twitter deal, jumping 5 percent.

Investors have had to weigh Musk’s legal troubles as well as the possibility that the Twitter acquisition could be a distraction from the management of the world’s most valuable automaker.

Musk’s tweet comes a day after the social media company fired two of its top executives. Twitter said the company is pausing most hiring, except for critical roles, and is “removing non-labor costs to ensure we are responsible and efficient.”

In a memo sent to employees and confirmed by Twitter, CEO Parag Agrawal said the company has missed growth and revenue milestones after the company began investing “aggressively” to expand its user base and revenue.

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