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Elon Musk Cancels 44 Billion Dollar Bid for Twitter
By: Grace Zhang
Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, revealed that he planned to buy Twitter for 44 billion dollars in April, 2022. However, he canceled the deal on July 8th after Twitter was unable to provide him with information on the number of spam and fake accounts.
Mr. Musk asked for evidence from Twitter to prove that spam accounts make up less than 5% of all Twitter users. He believes that these spam accounts take up about 20% or more of Twitter users.
Spam accounts are programmed to spread information to large numbers of people and manipulate the way they interact with the platform.
Twitter says it plans to pursue legal action to enforce the break-up agreement with a fee of 1 billion dollars. Twitter chairman Bret Taylor stated in a tweet, “The Twitter board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk.”
Mr. Musk’s lawyer said in a letter, “Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information.”
Mr. Musk has been attempting to get information about how many daily users are active on Twitter for weeks because Twitter has an issue with bots: they said they remove about a million accounts a day.
Twitter’s lack of information may not be the only reason Mr. Musk canceled the deal.
In the last few months, large technology companies have been falling steeply in the stock market leaving Musk to wonder if he offered too much. There was also an impact on Tesla, Mr. Musk’s own company. Tesla share price has fallen significantly since he announced his interest in Twitter.
Elon Musk’s position on free speech and how Twitter may change the future came across as naïve to many people. Some now think Musk may have bitten off a bit more than he could chew.