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Elon Musk puts Twitter deal on hold over fake account details

GreenWatch Desk Ict Horizon 2022-05-13, 7:35pm

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Elon Musk has said his $44bn (£35bn) deal to buy Twitter is on hold after he queried the number of fake or spam accounts on the social media platform.

He said he was waiting for information "supporting [the] calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users".

Mr Musk has been vocal on cleaning up spam accounts.

However, analysts speculated he could be seeking to renegotiate the price or even walk away from the takeover.

Following Mr Musk's tweet, Twitter's share price fell as much as 25% in pre-market trading.

He later tweeted that he is "still committed to acquisition".

Under the terms of the deal, if either Twitter or Mr Musk walk away they must pay the other side a termination fee of $1bn.

Twitter reported more than two weeks ago that fake accounts accounted for fewer than 5% of its daily active users during the first three months of this year.

However, the company said in determining the amount of spam accounts, "it applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts".

"The actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated. We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts," it said.

Mr Musk, who is the richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, is now examining that figure.