Remember when Elon Musk announced he was buying Twitter and that bombshell then reverberated across the social network for days on end? Well, today is another interesting day in this saga, as Musk revealed that the deal is “temporarily on hold”, pending “details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
If you’re confused as to what he’s talking about, a Reuters report came out earlier this month saying that Twitter itself estimates spam and fake accounts to comprise less than 5% of users. Now, however, Musk seems to be unconvinced that it’s only 5% of users.
Obviously, if a much higher percentage of Twitter users are spam bots and fakes, then the value of the company to a buyer would decrease, in which case we assume Musk would offer less than the $44 billion he’s already agreed to paying. It’s unclear what precisely is going on, but the news has unsurprisingly resulted in a slump in Twitter’s share price.
For what it’s worth, Musk says he’s still committed to seeing the acquisition go through, so this probably amounts to a very late-stage negotiating tactic. We’ll let you know what unfolds.