Featured Image Credit: Credit: Elon Musk/Instagram/Alamy
Elon Musk's $44 billion (£36bn) takeover of Twitter is officially on hold.
It all started when the Tesla and SpaceX chief became the social media firm's largest single stakeholder with a 9.2 percent stake, sparking its own controversy with regards to withholding his public disclosure after passing five percent.
As speculation swirled around Musk - particularly amid his polling on edit buttons and broadening Twitter's paid-for service in the US - he declined to join the board of directors. Soon, he revealed his true intentions: he offered to buy the whole thing.
Twitter accepted the offer, putting the future of the social media giant up in the air and open to rife speculation.
However, Musk has since confirmed that the deal has been put on hold pending an investigation into the ratio of bot accounts to actual users.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
He also shared a Reuters report detailing a recent Twitter filing which claimed false or spam accounts represented fewer than five percent of 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter of this year.
From the outset, Musk's 'free speech' priorities have been clear, and he's been very keen on removing 'spam bots' from the platform.
In the same filing, Twitter also noted a number of risks until Musk's takeover is finalised, including concerns over advertisers and 'potential uncertainty regarding our future plans and strategy'.
During a recent appearance at the Met Gala, Musk said his goal with Twitter would be to make it "as inclusive as possible, and to have as broad a swath of the country and the rest of the world on Twitter, and that they find it interesting and entertaining and funny, and that it makes their life better."
If Twitter acquisition completes, company will be super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware https://t.co/m2HseK0TXl— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 6, 2022
However, despite strong moves by Musk and bold claims about the platform's future, the market doesn't appear to be looking favourably towards the deal. For example, Tesla's stock has plummeted by more than 25 percent since it was announced.
Twitter's shares also took a serious dip this week, dropping to $45.08 (£36.99) a share by close of play yesterday, 12 May - its lowest day-end mark since the board accepted Musk's offer.
Christopher Rupkey, the chief economist at FWDBONDS, told Vanity Fair: "It’s a bit of a perfect storm, what he’s getting hit with right now.
"The next shoe to drop would be something that suggests the deal is looking a little more shaky…and whether or not the financing can still be kept in line."
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