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Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal Can’t Proceed Until Company Verifies Bot Numbers

Elon Musk Twitter Tesla

Elon Musk said early Tuesday that his deal to buy Twitter can’t progress until the company shows how many users on the platform are bots.

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Musk believes that 20 percent of users on Twitter are spam accounts or bots, while Twitter maintains that less than 5 percent of the accounts on the platform are fake accounts.

“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” Musk wrote in a tweet. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted Monday that the company’s estimates of spam accounts are based on multiple internal reviews. He added that external validation isn’t an option.

“Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share),” Agrawal wrote. “Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day.”

Musk’s apparent hesitation to go through with the deal comes after he agreed last month to buy Twitter for about $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. Musk publicly criticized Twitter, and said he believed he could improve the company through private ownership.

Twitter had a market cap of nearly $29 billion as of the close of market on Monday.

Illustration: Tesla Owners Club Belgium Creative Commons photo

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