Elon Musk said on Saturday that his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter could move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether users are spam bots or real people.
The billionaire and Tesla CEO tried to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition.
Musk accused Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.
Both sides are headed for an October trial in a Delaware court. Musk tweeted early Saturday that if Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. If their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not. Twitter TWTR hasn't responded to a request for comment Saturday. The company has publicly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that it could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the merger agreement in April. In court, Twitter argued that Musk is trying to sabotage the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court filing Thursday, he describes his counterclaims as an imaginary story that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense. Musk invented representations that never made and then tries to wield the extensive confidential data that was provided by Twitter to conjure a breach of those purported representations, company attorneys wrote.