Elon Musk said Saturday that the planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether users are spam bots or real people.
In April of this year, the billionaire and Tesla CEO tried to back out of his agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk claimed that Twitter misled 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 the deal should proceed on original terms if Twitter just provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are confirmed to be real. If it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not. There was no comment from Twitter on Saturday. The company has repeatedly 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.
The acquisition does not serve his interests, and that is why Twitter has argued in court that Musk is trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated. In a court filing Thursday, he describes his counterclaims as an imagined story that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense. Musk invents representations that never made, then tries to manipulate the extensive confidential data that Twitter provided him with to conjure a breach of those purported representations, company attorneys wrote.