Musk hits pause on Twitter deal over fake profiles
Elon Musk has hit the brakes on his $42 billion takeover of Twitter, citing concerns over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform.
Musk agreed a deal to buy Twitter last month after weeks of wrangling with the Twitter board, but the Tesla boss tweeted to say the deal is “temporarily on hold” while he investigated Twitter’s claims that fake profiles and bots make up less than 5% of its user base.
Musk – who promised to get rid of bots once he owns the company – said the deal will be paused “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”, casting doubt on the acquisition.
Should Musk end the bid, he may be liable to pay Twitter a $1 billion break clause, though Musk has said he is “still committed” to the deal. His tweet sent Twitter’s share price tumbling.
It comes as cryptocurrencies – which Musk has touted on his Twitter account in the past – are also tumbling, leading to speculation that Musk is looking to walk away from the Twitter deal – something he denies.
Musk had promised to implement several changes to Twitter, including introducing new rules to enshrine free speech on the platform, the creation of an “edit” button, and introducing authentication that will help reduce the number of bots. He also said he will reinstate former US president Donald Trump’s account once the takeover completed.
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