Musk formally dumps $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal

Elon Musk was widely cheered for announcing his intent to acquire Twitter and bring it back to its true, free-speech form.

Sadly, it doesn’t appear as if that will happen, as it was reported Friday that Musk is formally backing out of his agreement to purchase the social media platform, the Washington Examiner reported

Musk’s attorneys filed the official paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, announcing the end of the deal, citing major issues with Twitter’s misrepresentation of how many bots are active on the platform.

The deal would have set Musk back a cool $44 billion — a number agreed to by the Twitter board earlier this year.

“False or materially misleading”

Twitter had originally reported in its SEC paperwork prior to the deal that the platform was comprised of roughly 5% bots — a number with which Musk and his business partners could live.

However, after further scrutiny, including Musk’s internal team and third-party analysts, the number of bots on the platform could be as high as 20%, or more. That many fake accounts has a drastic effect on the company’s bottom line, as it has a direct impact on monetization.

“Although Twitter has not yet provided complete information to Mr. Musk that would enable him to do a complete and comprehensive review of spam and fake accounts on Twitter’s platform, he has been able to partially and preliminarily analyze the accuracy of Twitter’s disclosure regarding its mDAU,” Musk’s SEC filing read.

It added: “While this analysis remains ongoing, all indications suggest that several of Twitter’s public disclosures regarding its mDAUs are either false or materially misleading.”

Prior to pulling out of the deal, Musk had revealed that Twitter was seemingly unwilling to share the appropriate internal data to determine the true number of bot or spam accounts.

Twitter fires back

Shortly after news broke of Musk’s intentions to bail on the deal, Twitter’s board issued a statement declaring that it will now pursue the matter in the courts.

“The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” the company’s board wrote in a statement.

“We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery,” board Chairman Bret Taylor added.

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