Billionaire Elon Musk said Friday in a tweet that his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter has been temporarily put on hold.
The tweet read, “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,”
Musk had retweeted a media report citing a Twitter filing that stated that less than 5 percent of users on the social media platform are spam or fake accounts.
Elon Musk – the world’s wealthiest person – inked a deal to buy Twitter stating that he wants to weed out the fake bot accounts and authenticate real humans on the social media platform. He also said he wants to make Twitter a balanced and well-moderated platform.
In a filing earlier this month, Twitter said it had 229 million users in the first quarter, who were served advertising, out of nearly 11 million users who fall under false or spam accounts category, according to reports.
Twitter said it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, such as whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter and “potential uncertainty regarding our future plans and strategy, ” the report added.
Twitter shares initially fell more than 20% in premarket trading, but after Musk, sent a second tweet saying he remained committed to the deal, they regained some ground.
The shares were down 10% to $40.50 in morning trading on Friday, a steep discount to the $54.20 per share acquisition price.
Musk, the world’s richest person, decided to waive due diligence when he agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, in an effort to get the San Francisco-based company to accept his “best and final offer.” This could make it harder for him to argue that Twitter somehow misled him.
Since then, technology stocks have plunged amid investor concerns over inflation and a potential economic slowdown.
The spread between the offer price and the value of Twitter shares had widened in recent days, implying less than a 50% chance of completion, as investors speculated that the downturn would prompt Musk to walk or seek a lower price.