Days after putting the deal to buy Twitter on hold, Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, on Tuesday hinted that he would revise his $44 billion (over Rs 3,36,910 crore) offer to acquire the social media platform.
Replying to a Twitter post that suggested that the takeover amount was “too high”, Musk wrote that his offer was based on claims made by the social media platform in regulatory filings that less than 5% of its users were fake or spam accounts.
Musk claimed that the actual number of spam accounts could be 20%, or four times of what Twitter has declared.
“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC [US Securities and Exchanges Commission] filings being accurate,” Musk wrote. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
On April 26, the microblogging platform had said in a regulatory filing that Musk will buy Twitter for about $44 billion. However, in a tweet on May 13, Musk wrote that the deal was on hold “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
Musk had shared a Reuters report that said that in a regulatory filing to the United States stock exchanges, Twitter had declared that less than 5% of its daily active users, who could be monetised, were spam or fake accounts.
On Tuesday, Musk said that Twitter chief executive officer had refused to show proof that less than 5% of the platform’s users were fake after Parag Agrawal posted a series of tweets a day earlier to explain how the company detects and removes spam accounts.
Agarwal had reiterated Twitter’s estimates that less than 5% of the users were fake, but did not share the exact number of such accounts. He also said that it was not possible for someone who is not involved in Twitter’s mechanism of eliminating spam accounts to verify the numbers independently.
“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.
He, however, added that Twitter had shared with Musk an overview of the process to determine the approximate number of fake accounts.