Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter deal put on ice

Elon Musk said on Friday his $US44-billion deal for Twitter was temporarily on hold, citing pending details on spam and fake accounts.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said in a tweet.

Twitter deal on hold: Elon Musk.Credit:AP

Shares of the social media company fell 20 per cent in premarket trading. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company had earlier this month estimated that false or spamaccounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter.

It also said it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, including whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter.

Musk, the world’s richest man and the chief executive of Tesla, had said that one of his priorities would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform.

Earlier, two senior Twitter leaders who oversee the consumer and revenue divisions announced they would depart the social media company, chief executive officer Parag Agrawal told employees in a memo.

It was the biggest shake-up at the company since Musk announced he would buy the company.

Agrawal also said in the memo that Twitter would pause most hiring and review all existing job offers to determine whether any “should be pulled back.”

He attributed the decision in part because Twitter was not able to hit user growth and revenue milestones to maintain confidence that it could reach aggressive growth targets it had set in 2020.

“We need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs,” Agrawal wrote.

The company was targeting $US7.5 billion in annual revenue and 315 million daily users by the end of 2023, but withdrew those goals in its recent earnings report.


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