Musk says deal to buy Twitter is ‘temporarily on hold’

Musk has said he wants to make Twitter “better than ever” by “defeating spam bots and authenticating all humans.”

Elon Musk said on Friday that he would temporarily halt his long-awaited deal to buy Twitter, sending shares of the social media giant plummeting.

Musk, the world’s richest man and founder of automaker Tesla, had made rooting out spam accounts and bots one of the centerpieces of his proposed $44 billion takeover of Twitter.

Reliable figures on the number of users are considered vital in judging future sources of revenue.

“The Twitter deal is temporarily on hold pending details supporting the estimate that spam/fake accounts represent less than 5% of users,” he wrote on Twitter.

The filing says that an internal review concluded that Twitter had 229 million “monetizable daily active users” in the first quarter of this year, and only five percent were considered fake or spam accounts.

Wall Street investors are likely to interpret the tweet as an attempt by Musk to back out of the deal or force a lower price, Ives said.

He said the number of spam and fake accounts, and conversely the number of real accounts, was a key metric because future revenue streams would depend on advertising or paid subscriptions.

– ‘False and misleading’ –

But his ownership style has frequently landed him in trouble with the authorities.

His would-be stewardship of the social media platform has run into several hurdles since the takeover attempt was made public, most notably over the future status of Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Musk said he would be willing to lift the ban on Trump’s account.

jxb/lth

Originally posted as Musk says deal to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold”

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