Elon Musk declared he won’t proceed with his $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc. unless the social media giant can prove bots make up fewer than 5% of its users, casting yet more uncertainty over the deal.
The billionaire tweeted “this deal cannot move forward” unless Twitter provides proof of its claims, reiterating his own view that the ratio is far higher.
Musk’s latest online pronouncement complicates an already chaotic takeover, potentially one of the largest acquisitions the internet industry has ever seen. He recently butted heads online with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal over the way the social media giant accounts for bots, stoking speculation Musk may try to lower the price or even walk away.
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Twitter’s shares fell another 3.2% in pre-market trading in New York, after sliding more than 8% the previous day. The spread between Musk’s offer price of $54.20 and its last trading price is currently about 40%, suggesting investors think there is little chance the deal will get done without a discount—if at all.