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  4. Twitter says 'committed to enforcing $44 billion deal' despite Musk's ultimatum against spam bots

Twitter says 'committed to enforcing $44 billion deal' despite Musk's ultimatum against spam bots

In loggerheads with CEO Parag Agrawal, Musk had said his Twitter deal cannot move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5 per cent of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam.

Vani Mehrotra Edited by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Published on: May 19, 2022 7:51 IST
Elon Musk, Twitter deal
Image Source : AP

FILE - Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany

Highlights

  • Twitter said it is committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms
  • We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement, Twitter said
  • Musk had earlier tweeted that the Twitter deal was on hold unless the company proves against spam

Even as Elon Musk appears hesitant to take forward the Twitter deal over fake or spam accounts, the social media giant has said it plans to complete the $44 billion merger agreement with the Tesla CEO.

"Twitter is committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable," a report with Bloomberg quoted the statement in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

"We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement," the report further stated quoting Twitter. 

In loggerheads with CEO Parag Agrawal, Musk had said his Twitter deal cannot move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5 per cent of the accounts on the social media platform are fake or spam.

In his tweet Tuesday, Musk said that “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be much higher. My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate.”

He added: “Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of 5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

Spam accounts on Twitter: How the debate began 

The battle over spam accounts kicked off last week when Musk tweeted that the Twitter deal was on hold pending confirmation of the company's estimates that they make up less than 5 per cent of total users.

Also at the All In Summit, Musk gave the strongest hint yet that he would like to pay less for Twitter than the $44 billion offer he made last month.

His tweet Tuesday came in reply to one from a Tesla news site speculating that Musk “may be looking for a better Twitter deal as $44 billion seems too high.”

Musk made the offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share on April 14. Twitter shares have slid since then. They were down slightly in Tuesday morning trading at $37.28.

To finance the acquisition, Musk pledged some of his Tesla shares, which have slumped by about a third since the deal was announced.

In tweets on Monday, Agrawal acknowledged Twitter isn't perfect at catching bots. He wrote that every quarter, the company has made the estimate of less than 5% spam.

“Our estimate is based on multiple human reviews of thousands of accounts that are sampled at random, consistently over time,” Agrawal wrote.

Estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5 per cent, he wrote.

“The error margins on our estimates give us confidence in our public statements each quarter.”

Twitter has put the under 5 per cent estimate in its quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for at least the last two years, well before Musk made his offer last month.

But in the filings, Twitter expressed doubts that its count of bot accounts was correct, conceding that the estimate may be low.

Also Read | Musk hints at paying less for Twitter than his $44B offer

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