Elon Musk: I Can't Close the Twitter Deal Like This

Acquisition is stalled, he says, until there's more information on spam and fake accounts
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2022 4:24 PM CDT
Elon Musk: I Can't Close the Twitter Deal Like This
Part of the Twitter page of Elon Musk is seen on the screen of a computer in Sausalito, Calif., on April 25.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

(Newser) – Elon Musk shook things up Tuesday, beginning the day with a tweeted warning that his acquisition of Twitter is in doubt. "This deal cannot move forward," Musk wrote, until he receives more data about the amount of spam and the number of fake accounts on the platform, the New York Times reports. Twitter posted reassurance a few hours later, saying it wants to close the deal as soon as practical, on the terms agreed to. The company asked its shareholders to support the deal.

The strategy behind Musk's disruptions isn't clear, but everyone involved in the deal, or just watching, isn't amused. Some think he's trying to get the price down or set up a scenario for dropping the whole thing, per the Times. "I think all of this is just him making a lot of noise and showing the kind of headaches that he would cause for the company if they were to try to litigate this," said Ann Lipton, a corporate governance professor at Tulane Law School. Musk said last week the acquisition is on hold until his spam and fake accounts issues are resolved.

Later in the day, Musk tweeted that the Securities and Exchange Commission should investigate the matters. Barring that happening, Musk and Twitter are in a standoff, per the Verge. Ele Klein, of a global shareholder activism group, said Twitter's board is in a tough spot. The issue for the company, he said, becomes, "How long do you want to spend fighting? Life's too short to fight with Elon Musk." (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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