Elon Musk said Saturday that his proposed $44 billion acquisition of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are “spam bots” or real people.
The billionaire CEO of Tesla has attempted to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading to Twitter suing him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countered, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of his user base and other issues, which he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.
Both sides are heading to a trial in October in a Delaware court.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of testing 100 accounts and confirming they are genuine, the deal should go ahead on the original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if their SEC filings are found to be materially incorrect, then that should not be the case.”
Musk, who has more than 100 million Twitter followers, challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a “public debate about the percentage of Twitter bots.”
Twitter declined comment on Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed an estimate to the Securities and Exchange Commission that less than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, suggesting it could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when signing the merger agreement in April.
Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to undermine the deal, using the bot question as an excuse, because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.
In a Thursday court filing, it describes its counterclaims as an imaginary story “that defies the evidence and common sense.”
“Musk fabricates allegations that Twitter never made, and then seeks to selectively use the extensive confidential data Twitter has provided to him to induce breach of those alleged allegations,” the company’s attorneys wrote.
While Musk has attempted to focus on bot disclosures, in a wide-ranging subpoena, Twitter’s legal team has been seeking information about a variety of tech investors and entrepreneurs associated with Musk, including some of their private communications with the Tesla CEO could endanger.
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https://6abc.com/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-tesla-ceo/12106982/ Elon Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info