Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal Is 'Temporarily on Hold'

He wants to know more about estimate of number of fake or spam accounts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2022 6:22 AM CDT
Elon Musk: Twitter Deal Is 'on Hold'
Elon Musk departs from the justice center in Wilmington, Del. last year.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Twitter's share price sank as much as 25% in pre-market trading Friday after Elon Musk declared in an early morning tweet that his bid to buy the company was "temporarily on hold." He included a link to a May 2 Reuters report on a Twitter filing estimating the proportion of fake or spam accounts on the platform. "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," Musk said. When the billionaire announced a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter last month, he vowed to "defeat the spam bots."

The Twitter filing acknowledged that the "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," per the Verge. Musk's tweet is another sign of "internal turmoil over the proposed acquisition," but it's not clear whether the issue will completely derail the deal, the AP reports. On Thursday, two top Twitter execs were ousted: Kayvon Beykpour, who led Twitter's consumer division, and Bruce Falck, head of the revenue product division.

Both execs said they had been fired, the BBC reports. Beykpour said he is currently on paternity leave and was disappointed when Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told him he wanted to "take the team in a different direction." In a letter to staff obtained by the Verge, Agrawal said he had made some "difficult" decisions, including cost-cutting measures, to guide Twitter through "this time of change. "Effective this week, we are pausing most hiring and backfills, except for business critical roles," he said. (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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