Elon Musk has threatened to walk away from a $44 billion agreement to acquire Twitter Inc. if the company does not provide data regarding spam and fake accounts.
Musk alleges that Twitter is “actively resisting and thwarting his information rights” in a letter to Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde, on Monday.
“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” an attorney representing Musk writes.
Musk demands that Twitter turn over information about its testing methodologies to support its reporting that bots account for less than 5 percent of active users. Musk estimates that fake accounts make up at least 20 percent of all Twitter users.
Monday, Twitter shares fell 5 percent, now trading well below Musk’s takeover offer of $54.20 per share.
“Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover,” the letter states.
There’s reason to believe Twitter has underreported the number of fake accounts. An audit from SparkToro found that 49.3 percent of the accounts following President Biden at @POTUS are “fake followers.”
Also, have you ever checked the retweet list for a Jemele Hill tweet? It’s all faceless egg accounts created only to amplify her tweets. Suspicious.
While some Wall Street analysts believe that Musk is using the bot count to negotiate a lower price for the service, others say he may pull out of the deal completely.
The latter would be a crushing outcome for advocates of free speech. Musk has the pro-censorship fanatics on the ropes, threatening their advantages on social media. The momentum would shift back in favor of the woke Left if Musk does not ultimately purchase Twitter.
Twitter could face legal consequences could Musk prove that the company lied to the SEC.
As I wrote in a recent column, “The greatest threat Elon Musk poses to Twitter is not taking control of the platform for future purposes, but uncovering the previous inner workings of the entire ruse.”
From selectively censoring content to infesting itself with bots and new evidence of shadowbanning, Twitter has been what its critics say: a cult, not a business.
Column: Twitter gained influence on a foundation of lies that Elon Musk threatens to uncoverhttps://t.co/0t5aHICBh6
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) May 19, 2022
Previously, Musk said he had hoped to acquire Twitter by the end of the summer. That seems unlikely at this point.