Elon Musk announced on Monday that his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter could be in jeopardy over a data request. Musk has stated that his offer is contingent on Twitter’s spam account numbers being accurate. This has not been the case, the Tesla CEO claims, as Twitter has refused to grant multiple data requests.
Attorneys for Musk wrote that Twitter has refused to provide information that would “facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform,” according to a letter that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Musk’s lawyers claimed that Twitter’s refusal to comply means the company’s spam account numbers are much higher than reported.
“Mr. Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement,” the attorneys wrote. “Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”
Twitter shares tanked 5% to open $38.14 on Monday morning — far below the takeover price of $54.20 per share, according to the New York Post. The figures could mean that investors are becoming increasingly less confident that a deal will ultimately go through.
Twitter has repeatedly claimed that spam/bot accounts make up just 5% of the platform’s active user base. Musk previously announced in May that the Twitter deal was “on hold” while his team conducted their own estimates.
Twitter has since offered to provide Musk with more information, but the Tesla CEO’s attorneys claim they are not being provided with nearly enough.
“Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s own testing methodologies, whether through written materials or verbal explanations, is tantamount to refusing Mr. Musk’s data requests,” Musk’s lawyers said Monday. “Mr. Musk has made it clear that he does not believe the company’s lax testing methodologies are adequate so he must conduct his own analysis.”
Elon Musk has stated his belief that Twitter functions as the “modern town square” and that ideologically motivated leftists have applied their terms of service selectively.
The SEC opened an investigation into Musk’s disclosed Twitter holdings late last month.
Reporting from National File.