28 Sep 2022, 1:38 AM (GMT)

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Elon Musk Pulls Out Of $44bn Twitter Deal

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Tesla Motors founder, Elon Musk is seeking to end an agreement to acquire Twitter Inc. for $44 billion and take it private, alleging that the company misrepresented user data and setting the stage for an arduous court brawl.

The announcement is the latest twist in a long-running saga after the world’s richest person decided to buy Twitter in April.

Mr Musk in a letter to Twitter on Friday said he had backed out because Twitter failed to provide enough information on the number of spam and fake accounts.

The pullout marks a dramatic turn in a half-year saga that began with Musk building up an equity stake, lining up an elaborate financing plan and then striking a deal in April. 

Throughout, Musk has accused the company of misleading the public about the number of automated accounts known as spam bots on its platform, culminating with a termination letter sent Friday.

In May, Mr Musk said the deal was “temporarily on hold” as he was awaiting data on the number of fake and spam accounts on Twitter.

In a letter filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Musk’s lawyer said Twitter had failed or refused to provide this information.

“Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information,” the letter reads.

Spam accounts are designed to spread information to large numbers of people and manipulate the way they interact with the platform. On Thursday, Twitter said it removed around 1 million such accounts each day.

Mr Musk believes that spam or bot accounts could account for 20% or more of Twitter users.

Shares in Twitter fell by 7% in extended trading after the announcement.

BBC, Bloomberg

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