Elon Musk says Twitter deal no-go until bot numbers clarified
Musk has said that his Twitter offer will not go any further until the company reveals its bot accounts figure
Musk's decision comes hours after he hinted at seeking a lower price for the acquisition
Twitter's internal estimates suggest that 5% of the users on the platform make up for bot accounts
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was in the middle of his Twitter acquisition until now, has said that his $44 billion offer will not move any further until the social networking company provides evidence that bot accounts make up less than 5% of the platform’s total users.
Musk's decision comes hours after he hinted at seeking a lower price for Twitter.
"My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5% (spam accounts). This deal cannot move forward until he does," Musk wrote on Tuesday.
Last week, the 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO said that he was suspicious of bots accounting for 20% of users on Twitter, contrary to the company's estimated figure of 5%.
"You can't pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed," he said at the All-In Summit 2022 conference held in Miami on Monday.
When questioned if the deal would still be feasible at a different price, Musk said that it "is not out of the question."
"The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow," he said.
"They claim that they've got this complex methodology that only they can understand... It can't be some deep mystery that is, like, more complex than the human soul or something like that," Musk added.
Following Musk's criticism, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal clarified on Twitter that for the last four quarters, internal estimates of bot/spam accounts on the microblogging platform were "well under 5%."
Agrawal added that the estimate, which hasn't changed in over nine years, could not be externally created given the requirement to use public and private data to decipher if an account is a spam or a bot.