What happened now? The latest development in the Elon Musk-Twitter spat has led the platform to file a filing with the SEC that refutes Musk’s claims that he had the right to opt out of the $44 billion acquisition. Twitter says it intends to complete the deal at the agreed-upon price of $54.20 per share (current price is $41.06) and plans to take legal action to force Musk to make the purchase.
Musk cited the number of fake Twitter accounts as a major point of contention. The world’s richest man has previously said that Twitter’s alleged refusal to reveal bot numbers represents material breach deal and allowed him to avoid a $1 billion gap fee.
In a public statement, Twitter said that Musk’s claims were “a story made up in an attempt to avoid a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive after the stock market, and with it his massive personal fortune, plummeted.”
Twitter claims that less than 5% of the accounts on the site are fake. Musk’s team, however, says that at least 10% of active users who see ads on a daily basis are not true, and Twitter is trying to hide this figure. The recent filing also claims that Twitter has hidden the number of its users who see ads. According to New York Timesthe company said that Musk is trying to “misrepresent data obtained from Twitter in order to sponsor wild findings” and his data is accurate.
The filing alleges that using a tool called Botometer, developed by Indiana University to measure fake accounts, analysts found that Twitter was lying about the number of fake accounts on the platform. He denies the claims.
“Twitter incorrectly counted the number of fake and spam accounts on its platform to mislead investors about the company’s prospects,” Musk’s lawyers wrote. “Twitter revelations are slowly unraveling, and Twitter is feverishly closing the gate to information in a desperate attempt to stop Musk’s parties from exposing his fraud.”
Twitter previously made a “firehose” of raw data, consisting of every tweet posted each day, available to Musk. He then stated that Twitter had put an artificial limit on the number of searches his team could perform on the data, but the reality is that he had reached the monthly limit of 100,000 searches, so Twitter increased the limit to 10 million. This still did not satisfy Musk.
When Twitter sued Musk for backing out of the deal, it said he treated the lawsuit as “complicated jokeSome of the memes Musk used to mock the situation, including one of Internet favorite Chuck Norris, were used as evidence in the documentation.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2022
“The counterclaims are a story made for litigation that defies evidence and common sense,” Twitter said in a tweet. “Musk invents representations that Twitter has never made, and then attempts to selectively use the vast amounts of sensitive data that Twitter has given him to instigate a violation of those supposed representations.”
Financial Times writes that Twitter is “ready to go to war” if necessary to complete the deal, adding that CEO Parag Agrawal was “more aggressive on the inside”.
Twitter won the first trial last month when the judge agreed fast track trial. It will only last five days and will start in October, not next year, which is where Musk’s legal team wanted it to start.
Twitter lost revenue in the second quarter, something he accused about the turmoil caused by the Musk deal.
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