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Elon Musk warned on Monday that he could withdraw his offer to buy Twitter, for the sum of 44 billion dollars (41.1 billion euros), if the social network did not provide him with the data that he claims about fake user accounts.
Elon Musk threatens Twitter. In a document published Monday, June 6, the businessman plans to withdraw his takeover offer from the social network, established at 44 billion dollars (41.1 billion euros).
In a letter made public in accordance with stock market regulations, the multibillionaire accuses Twitter of “actively resisting” its requests for information on spam and fake accounts, denouncing a “significant and manifest violation” of its obligations and says to reserve the right to terminate their merger agreement.
This is the first time that the entrepreneur threatens Twitter directly, and by mail, to abandon his takeover plan, a possibility that he had however already mentioned in messages published on the social network itself.
Twitter, which did not react immediately on Monday, had previously downplayed this risk by considering that Elon Musk’s warning had no legal value.
“Musk believes Twitter is clearly refusing to honor its obligations under the merger agreement, raising new suspicions that the company may be trying to withhold requested data due to concerns that analysis data by Musk will uncover,” the Monday letter said.
Twitter’s “lax methodology”
Elon Musk, who presents himself as an outspoken defender of freedom of expression, questioned the sincerity of the data published by Twitter according to which fake accounts represent less than 5% of its user base, saying that the actual proportion could exceed 20%.
He is therefore asking the social network for data supposed to allow him to carry out his own analysis of the user base and affirms that he does not trust the “lax testing methodology” of his target.
“It is clear that Musk is entitled to access to the data requested to enable him to prepare the transfer of the activities of Twitter under his control and to facilitate the financing of this transition”, estimate his lawyers in the letter.
Elon Musk, also CEO of the electronic car manufacturer Tesla and founder of the aerospace company SpaceX, claims to have completed the financing for the takeover of Twitter by supplementing his personal contribution with loans.
On Wall Street, Twitter shares lost 5.4% at the start of the session.
With Reuters and AFP