Musk says Twitter deal could continue with ‘bot’ info

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Elon Musk said on Saturday that its planned $44 billion acquisition of Twitter should go through if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are “spam bots” or real people.

The billionaire and CEO of Tesla has attempted to pull out of his April deal to buy the social media company, prompting Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countered, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of his user base and other issues that he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.

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Both sides are en route to a trial in October in a Delaware court.

“If Twitter just gives their method of sampling 100 accounts and how it is confirmed that they are real, the deal should go through on the original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if their SEC filings are found to be materially inaccurate, then they shouldn’t be.”

Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that less than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that this could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the April merger agreement.

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Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to dissolve the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court filing Thursday, it describes its counterclaims as an imagined story “contrary to the evidence and common sense”.

“Musk makes up statements Twitter never made and then selectively tries to use the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to invoke a breach of those alleged statements,” company attorneys wrote.

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