Elon Musk has put the brakes on his $44 billion bid to acquire Twitter, saying the website has far too several bogus accounts. But is the world’s richest guy just hoping to negotiate a greater offer?
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Elon Musk has a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. But now, seemingly, he has uncertainties. This sort of serious doubts, so he says, that he may possibly destroy the offer. Or possibly Elon Musk is being Elon Musk and trolling for a greater discount. And all of this is taking part in out, the place else? – but on Twitter. I spoke with NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond to comprehend what’s going on.
SHANNON BOND, BYLINE: Musk said at a meeting in Miami on Monday that he’s worried about the range of phony accounts on Twitter.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
ELON MUSK: You know, at the finish of the working day, obtaining – it has to be fixable, and fixable, you know, with acceptable time frame and with no revenues collapsing alongside the way and all that sort of stuff. And so, you know, I actually have to have to see how these matters are getting calculated.
BOND: But, you know, for years, Twitter has stated it estimates less than 5% of accounts are phony. But on Tuesday, Musk demanded general public evidence of that number. In any other case, he claimed, quote, “This deal are not able to move ahead.” Try to remember, he initiated this offer. Also, with out delivering any evidence, he claimed 20% of accounts may perhaps be bogus. Then a single of Musk’s followers tweeted that the Securities and Exchange Commission should really look into this. Musk tweeted in response, good day @SECGov, any one house? SECGov is the agency’s formal account. And, Leila, that is the exact same company that, in 2018, fined Musk $20 million over his fake statements on Twitter that he had funding to get Tesla non-public.
FADEL: Alright, So is this a bluff to get a greater offer, or is Musk striving to pull out?
BOND: Effectively, if he does wander away, he’d virtually undoubtedly be on the hook to pay back Twitter a $1 billion break up charge. And experts I’ve spoken with say Twitter could even perhaps potentially sue him for even further damages. Now, Musk is relying on his Tesla shares to finance this bargains, and the value of all those has fallen sharply. So numerous observers speculate Musk intends to renegotiate his selling price for Twitter. And at Monday’s convention, Musk prompt he may do just that.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MUSK: In generating the Twitter present, I was clearly reliant on the reality and accuracy of their community filings. And if those filings are not precise, it’s just not – that’s – it is not – you won’t be able to spend the identical rate for a little something that is much even worse than they claimed.
BOND: But, Leila, Musk waived thanks diligence in doing this offer, and which is like obtaining a property without undertaking an inspection.
FADEL: So what influence is the drama obtaining on Twitter?
BOND: Nicely, its share price tag is way down, and there are concerns it could tank even further more if Musk backs out. And this is just incorporating to significant uncertainty and disruption for the organization. Twitter has frozen hiring. It is chopping paying. Various major executives are leaving. So regardless of whether Musk goes via with the offer or walks absent, the complete system hazards leaving Twitter weaker than it was prior to – destroyed.
FADEL: Ok. So to recap, a tiny more than a month ago, Musk provided to invest in Twitter. Twitter to begin with resisted, later on accepted. Now Musk is the one particular with cold feet, suitable?
BOND: Sure, ideal. And Twitter suggests it is really nonetheless committed to receiving this deal accomplished at the price tag Musk agreed to. CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted a lengthy rebuttal to Musk’s criticism. Musk replied on Twitter with a poop emoji.
FADEL: NPR’s Shannon Bond, thank you so significantly.
BOND: Many thanks, Leila.
Copyright © 2022 NPR. All legal rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions webpages at www.npr.org for further facts.
NPR transcripts are produced on a hurry deadline by an NPR contractor. This text might not be in its closing form and may well be updated or revised in the long run. Precision and availability may perhaps fluctuate. The authoritative file of NPR’s programming is the audio history.