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Elon Musk threatens to pull out of $61 billion AUD Twitter purchase

Elon Musk’s attorney has published a letter which details that the billionaire has considered abandoning the deal due to fake bots.

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, CEO of Tesla/SpaceX, and meme connoisseur may leave ‘owner of Twitter‘ by his waist side.

Why? Because the billionaire is alleging that only half of Twitter’s users are real, and the other half are bots. That equates to around 114.5 million bots.

While Musk has suggested that bots account for around 50% of users, Twitter has responded, arguing that they only make up 5%. He’s asked the company to confirm the exact number before the deal resumes.

Elon Musk cartoon with Twitter bird
Courtesy of Elon Musk’s Twitter

In a letter to Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, Musk’s attorney states: “As Twitter’s prospective owner, Musk is clearly entitled to the requested data to enable him to prepare for transitioning Twitter’s business to his ownership and to facilitate his transaction financing.”

“To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model – its active user base.”

The letter also emphasises Musk’s ability to terminate the deal and contract should he wish to. And although that would incur a $1 billion breakup fee, I think we can all assume Musk has the funds.

But people are theorising that Musk’s inquiry was a tactical move to drive the purchase price of Twitter down by showing how many fake accounts are on the platform.

Despite this, Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, has responded to Musk while highlighting his interest in continuing the purchase, stressing the small number of bots using Twitter: “are sophisticated and hard to catch”. 

He later confirmed his company will continue to sample thousands of accounts randomly to monitor bots.

In response to this, Musk tweeted in very Musk fashion, simply a poo emoji.

Then in a subsequent tweet, Musk added: “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”

Get the popcorn ready, folks!