Twitter says it is ‘committed’ to Elon Musk deal amid obscene tweets and public arguments

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 18 May 2022 17:15
Comments

Twitter says it is “committed” to being sold to Elon Musk – even amid a range of difficulties that could trouble the deal.

In recent days, Mr Musk has become publicly fixed on the number of spam bots and fake accounts that are on the platform, and has accused Twitter’s leadership of obscuring the true amount.

That has led to speculation that he is looking either to renegotiate the price down or leave the deal entirely.

But Twitter says it wants to do the deal on the terms as they are agreed.

“Twitter is committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable,” the social media company said.

In a further statement issued to Bloomberg, the Twitter board said it intends to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement”.

Mr Musk said his offer had been based on Twitter‘s filings with US regulators being “accurate” and has publicly sparred with Twitter executives on the platform over the issue, demanding more details on how it carries out its analysis.

The spam accounts figure has been included in Twitter‘s quarterly financial filings for several years, and the company says it carries out an “internal review of a sample of accounts”, acknowledging that while it applies “significant judgment”, it is an estimation.

Some analysts have suggested that Mr Musk may be looking for ways to try to renegotiate the price of the deal or find a way to walk away from it - Twitter‘s share price has slumped in recent days and remains well below the 54.20 dollars Mr Musk has agreed to pay per share for the company.

The billionaire told a conference in Miami earlier this week that renegotiating a deal at a lower price was “not out of the question”.

The takeover deal includes a one billion dollar “breakup fee” which either side would be liable for if they pull out of the transaction.

Mr Musk’s interest in the number of spam accounts on Twitter is believed to be linked to his proposed plans to further monetise the platform’s userbase.

He has previously hinted at plans around boosting advertising and offering more subscriptions to users, and hinted that some government and business accounts could face a “slight cost” in order to use the platform.

On announcing the deal last month, Mr Musk said he wanted to “defeat the spam bots” and “unlock” the potential of the site and “make Twitterbetter than ever by enhancing the product with new features”.

The billionaire has also said he wanted to bolster free speech on the platform and make it more of a digital town square for debate, but has raised concerns after saying he would reverse the permanent ban given to former US president Donald Trump, who was kicked off the site for inciting violence around the US Capitol building riots last year.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in