Tesla CEO, Elon Musk has threatened to renege on his Twitter bid claiming the company breached the merger agreement by concealing crucial data in regards to spam and fake accounts. In a letter to Twitter’s head of legal policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde on Monday, Musk said he was entitled to his own measurement of fake accounts.
“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” the letter, sent by Musk’s attorneys said.
The world’s richest person demanded that Twitter present evidence to support its claims that fake accounts and bots account for less than 5 percent of the platforms active user data base.
Musk started tweeting about bots weeks ago, with plans to conduct his own private assessment to ascertain the actual numbers. The claims were met with mixed reactions, with a section of Twitter stakeholders claiming that he was using the allegations to arm twist the company to negotiate for a lower bid.
“As Twitter’s prospective owner, Mr 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,” lawyer Mike Ringler wrote in the letter.
“Based on Twitter’s behaviour to date, and the company’s latest correspondence in particular, Mr Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights,” the letter said.
Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, who has defended the company’s spam metric, responded to Musk in a statement.
“Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.”
The company added that it intends to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”
Musk claims that the actual figure of spam accounts is much higher, possibly as high as 90%. Musk previously stated that the acquisition “cannot proceed” unless the company provides “proof” of its spam metric.