Elon Musk has put his Twitter acquisition on hold, he said early Friday in a tweet. Musk said he awaits further details and calculations confirming Twitter’s claims that spam accounts on the platform account for less than 5% of active users.
The move comes less than a month after Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition offer.
Musk is still committed to buying Twitter
The Tesla CEO first made an offer to buy Twitter in mid-April at $54.20 a share. After days of deliberation, Twitter accepted the $44 billion offer on April 25. Musk previously tweeted that removing spam bots from Twitter would be one of his key priorities.
Despite putting the acquisition on hold, Musk said in a follow-up tweet that he remains committed to buying Twitter. If the SpaceX co-founder changes his mind about purchasing the social media platform, he will have to pay $1 billion as a deal-termination fee.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
In April, Twitter said in a financial filing that fake and spam accounts represented less than 5% of its daily active users during the quarter. Twitter did, however, note that it “applied significant judgment,” so its estimate could be inaccurate. The actual number of spam accounts could be far higher.
Even if Musk and Twitter go ahead with the acquisition, the deal is still pending shareholder approval, which is expected to happen sometime later this year.
Musk wants to reduce Twitter’s reliance on ad revenue
The Tesla CEO has been critical of spam bots on Twitter and has blamed the platform’s reliance on ad revenue for the problem. He is looking to more than double Twitter’s revenues by 2028, with the share from advertising dropping to about 45%. Currently, Twitter generates the majority of its revenues from ads.
The news of Musk putting his acquisition on hold caused Twitter shares to fall as much as 15% in pre-market trading.