Elon Musk is putting the $44 billion takeover of Twitter “temporarily on hold,” after the company’s claim that less than 5% of its users are spam or fake accounts.
Musk tweeted on Friday that the deal on hold while he waited for details backing up Twitter’s claim:
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
Later, Musk posted a follow-up tweet, saying he is “still committed to the acquisition.”
Musk was referring to a May 2 Reuters report about Twitter’s filing with US financial regulators, in which Twitter stated that fake and spam accounts amounted to less than 5% of its daily users:
We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.
As the story broke, Twitter’s share price fell by as much as 25% in pre-market trading and is currently down around 15%.