The ongoing saga of whether or not Elon Musk will actually take ownership of Twitter has taken another twist.
After Musk started getting cold feet, due to the amount of bots on the platform, the Twitter board unanimously agreed to endorse his acquistion.
They provided all the data the billionaire had asked for in the hope of getting the deal done.
But it seems like the deal is still on very shaky ground.
Three sources familiar with the matter have suggested to US media that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts aren’t verifiable.
As a result, Musk’s team has stopped engaging in certain discussions around the £34 billion deal, the sources claim.
Without sufficient data, Musk’s team doesn’t believe it has enough information to evaluate the social media site’s prospects as an ongoing business.
Making matters worse is the fact Twiter’s share price has dropped dramatically since Musk’s initial bid in April. Which is likely to make the world’s richest man believe he’s overpaying for a commodity.
But it’s not that easy for Musk to walk away. The billionaire has agreed to it and could only back out if something major happens to Twitter’s business. And the bot problem may not be enough.
Even if the legal requirements are met, Musk may still be on the hook for the deal’s $1 billion (£836m) breakup fee.
Of course, if the deal fell apart, it wouldn’t look good for Twitter either and could spell an even worse fate for its share price. As a result, the company is seemingly doing al it can to make itself an attractive proposition.
The company has reportedly let go around 30 per cent of its talent aquistion team, which works out to ‘fewer than 100 people’, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s a part of cost-cutting that also includes a hiring freeze in an attempt to see the deal through.
As well as cutting down on staff, Twitter has also confidently stated it is cutting down on the bot problem that’s so crucial to the deal.
The site removes more than 1 million spam accounts each day, executives told reporters in a briefing yesterday.
The stipulation of the deal hinges on Twitter’s data showing proof that spam and bot accounts were fewer than 5% of users who see advertising on the social media service.
Musk previously tweeted that one of his biggest priorities after acquiring Twitter is to ‘defeat the spam bots or die trying.’
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