Elon Musk signals he wants to pay less than $44bn for Twitter

Elon Musk has signaled that he wants to pay less than $44bn for Twitter after telling a tech conference he believes at least 20 per cent of the platform’s accounts are bots.

The Tesla boss, who announced last week that his deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold”, told the All In Summit that a lower price agreement for the company was possible, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Musk said that the percentage of bots among twitter’s 229m accounts was at the low end of his assessment, reported Bloomberg News who watched a livestream of the event.

Twitter stock ended Monday down eight per cent at $37.39, while Mr Musk offered to buy the company at $54.20 on 14 April.

The world’s richest person has said he will use billions of dollars of Tesla stock to buy twitter, and the electric vehicle maker’s stocks have fallen in value by more than 27 per cent in the past month.

This has lead some observers to suggest that Mr Musk may try to back out of the deal, which would cost him a $1bn fee to exit.

Earlier in the day, Mr Musk sent a poop emoji to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal after he claimed it would be difficult to conduct an external review to determine the percentage of bots and fake accounts.

“Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share),” Mr Agrawal tweeted.

“Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day.

“There are LOTS of details that are very important underneath this high-level description. We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you.”

Twitter has previously said it believes that less than five per cent of its accounts are fake.


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