Musk victorious over Twitter, which will show internal data to him as part of takeover deal

In the battle over the Elon Musk Twitter takeover, it seems that Twitter has blinked.

After Musk threatened Monday to pull out of the $44 billion Twitter deal, Twitter agreed to hand over data on 500 million tweets per day that are posted on the platform so that Musk’s team could try to determine on its own whether the percentage of bot accounts is really the 5% Twitter has claimed.

“At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover,” attorneys for Musk wrote in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission before Twitter’s decision to give up the data. “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates.”

The data is currently purchased by about two dozen companies, who use it for advertising purposes.

On hold

Musk has had the deal on hold over doubts that the bot number is accurate. He has theorized that as many as 20% of Twitter users may be bots.

Twitter’s monetizable user base grew by 15% in the first quarter of 2022, with 39.2 million active users in the U.S. and 189.4 internationally.

If the spam accounts are significantly higher than Twitter’s estimate, though, it could affect the value of the company.

Advertisers won’t want to pay the same rates if millions more users are actually bots or spam accounts.

Risky business

If the deal falls through, though, Twitter risks serious devaluation in the market, which responded well to Musk’s takeover bid.

Twitter is nearly desperate to complete the deal at this point to enrich its shareholders and keep the perception of the company intact.

“We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders,” a spokesperson said. “We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”

Musk has said he intends to make Twitter more profitable if he does go through with the purchase, and may begin to charge fees to some users for access.

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