This time, the warning is formal. Elon Musk accused Twitter on Monday of withholding information and threatened not to go through with his $44 billion takeover bid for not having, according to him, the details he had been asking for “since May 9. on the exact number of “bots” and fake accounts on the platform.
This is not the first time that the boss of Tesla has blown hot and cold over his takeover bid on Twitter. In mid-May, Elon Musk had already announced that he would suspend the operation, the time to obtain confirmation of “the fact that spam and fake accounts represent well under 5% of the number of users”. A figure communicated by the platform during the latest results, but disputed by the billionaire, for whom it is a “fundamental question for the financial health of Twitter”.
But since then, the blue bird social network has not provided Elon Musk with the requested details. Which, according to his lawyers, constitutes a “material breach” of the conditions of the takeover. The South African’s lawyers therefore warned Twitter in a letter posted Monday on the website of the SEC, the stock market policeman in the United States. Under these terms, “Mr. Musk reserves all resulting rights, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” the letter reads.
In the process, the action of Twitter fell by 4% on the stock market, to 38.52 dollars, well below the price proposed by Elon Musk (54.20 dollars) to buy the company. Twitter has yet to officially respond. Last month, the board of directors of the platform had validated the takeover proposal. Then, last Friday, the deadline given to US antitrust authorities to review the deal expired – leaving the way clear to finalize the deal.
By thus formalizing his dissatisfaction, Elon Musk puts the pressure back on Twitter. For weeks, some have doubted his desire to go through with the operation, while the markets are turning away from major technological stocks. In a difficult macroeconomic context (war in Ukraine, inflation, higher credit prices, etc.), Snapchat, for example, issued a “profit warning” at the end of May which cast doubts on the health of online advertising, at the heart of the business model of platforms like Twitter.
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