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Twitter: Elon Musk brings discount on takeover into play


Elon Musk wants to pay 44 billion US dollars for Twitter – so far. Most recently, the Tesla boss raised concerns about bots and fake accounts. Publicly, he now pondered a possible price reduction.

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Elon Musk (on May 2nd)


In the struggle for a deal for Twitter, tech billionaire Elon Musk has attracted attention with statements about a possibly lower price.

An agreement on a lower bid is "not out of the question," Musk said in a video interview at a conference on Monday.

Twitter shares ended the day in US trading down a good eight percent at $37.38.

That's a far cry from the $54.20 per share that the head of electric car maker Tesla has so far promised Twitter shareholders.

Musk himself sent the stock plummeting over the weekend by declaring the deal to buy Twitter "temporarily on hold."

He first wants to wait for calculations to show that accounts without real users actually account for less than five percent.

The group last mentioned this figure.

Musk's action raised many questions.

For one, its takeover agreement with Twitter does not provide for a temporary suspension.

On the other hand, Twitter mentioned the estimate of less than five percent bot and fake accounts not only in the most recent quarterly report - but for years.

Industry observers wondered whether Musk wanted to try to get out of the expensive deal or at least push the price down.

Five percent – ​​or is it 25?

At his conference appearance, Musk estimated that fake profiles accounted for at least a fifth of all Twitter accounts, according to financial service Bloomberg.

He gave no basis for this significantly higher estimate.

Earlier, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal attempted to explain the service's methodology in estimating the number of spam and bot accounts in a series of tweets.

Musk countered with a poo emoji and asked, among other things, whether Twitter had tried to simply call users with suspicious-looking accounts.

Twitter calls the figure of 229 million daily users that the service can reach with its advertising.

The fake accounts identified by Twitter have already been deducted from this number.

Lawyers at Twitter report concerns

Musk's recent tweets had also caused a stir in Twitter's legal department.

The lawyers accused him of breaching a confidentiality agreement, Musk said at the weekend, also on Twitter.

From the point of view of the legal department, he had revealed too much about Twitter's approach to identifying automated tweeting accounts.

"It really happened," Musk commented on the alleged complaint.

The boss of the electric car manufacturer Tesla had agreed with the Twitter board of directors on a deal worth around 44 billion dollars.

If it stays with this number.

But he is still dependent on enough shareholders wanting to sell him their shares.

Twitter and Musk previously wanted to complete the acquisition by the end of the year.

The billionaire has already bought a good nine percent stake in Twitter on the stock exchange in recent months.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-16

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