Key Words: Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ without more data on spam bots


“This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

That was Elon Musk in an early Tuesday tweet, where the Tesla TSLA, -5.88% chief executive doubled down on his demand for more information on spam bots from Twitter TWTR, -8.18% CEO Parag Agrawal.

“20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of Musk tweeted.

Musk was responding to a tweet by media group Teslarati, that indicated he may want a discount to his $44 billion Twitter offer, if the spam bot accounts in question are that high.

Twitter’s Agrawal on Monday attempted in a series of tweets to detail how the company determines bots, days after the Tesla chief said his deal for the social media group was “temporarily on hold” due to concerns over bots. He wrote that every quarter, the company estimates less than 5% spam, a claim Musk appeared to reject with a simple poop emoji.

Musk told a Miami technology conference on Monday that a lower-price deal would not be out of the question, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which said it viewed a live stream video of the conference posted by a Twitter user.

As for funding the deal, the New York Post reported that SpaceX plans to sell existing shares starting Tuesday and Musk may be the seller of those shares. The article cited sources who said Musk has been finding it a struggle, as well as expensive, to raise more cash for his Twitter bid.

Twitter shares fell for a seventh straight trading session Monday, amid concerns that Musk could either back out of his deal or seek a price cheaper than the $54.20/share agreement he reached with the company’s board of directors last month.

Shares of Tesla fell for a fifth straight session, and are down 31% so far this year amid that tech rout. Twitter shares have lost 13%.

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