Musk says he’s having second thoughts about buying Twitter : NPR


Elon Musk has set the brakes on his $44 billion bid to invest in Twitter, saying the internet site has as well a lot of pretend accounts. But is the world’s richest gentleman just hoping to negotiate a superior offer?


Elon Musk has a offer to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. But now, seemingly, he has doubts. These critical doubts, so he says, that he could possibly get rid of the offer. Or it’s possible Elon Musk is becoming Elon Musk and trolling for a better cut price. And all of this is taking part in out, the place else? – but on Twitter. I spoke with NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond to realize what is likely on.

SHANNON BOND, BYLINE: Musk mentioned at a meeting in Miami on Monday that he’s concerned about the number of fake accounts on Twitter.


ELON MUSK: You know, at the close of the day, obtaining – it has to be fixable, and fixable, you know, with affordable time frame and without the need of revenues collapsing alongside the way and all that sort of things. And so, you know, I seriously will need to see how these things are remaining calculated.

BOND: But, you know, for years, Twitter has said it estimates much less than 5% of accounts are phony. But on Tuesday, Musk demanded public evidence of that selection. Usually, he claimed, estimate, “This offer are unable to shift forward.” Don’t forget, he initiated this deal. Also, without supplying any evidence, he claimed 20% of accounts could be bogus. Then a single of Musk’s followers tweeted that the Securities and Exchange Fee should really glimpse into this. Musk tweeted in reaction, good day @SECGov, any individual property? SECGov is the agency’s official account. And, Leila, which is the very same company that, in 2018, fined Musk $20 million in excess of his wrong statements on Twitter that he had funding to acquire Tesla non-public.

FADEL: Ok, So is this a bluff to get a greater deal, or is Musk making an attempt to pull out?

BOND: Perfectly, if he does walk absent, he’d almost undoubtedly be on the hook to shell out Twitter a $1 billion breakup fee. And gurus I have spoken with say Twitter could even it’s possible possibly sue him for more damages. Now, Musk is relying on his Tesla shares to finance this specials, and the price of individuals has fallen sharply. So numerous observers speculate Musk intends to renegotiate his price for Twitter. And at Monday’s convention, Musk instructed he may do just that.


MUSK: In making the Twitter present, I was obviously reliant upon the reality and accuracy of their general public filings. And if individuals filings are not precise, it is simply not – which is – it truly is not – you are not able to pay the exact cost for something that is significantly even worse than they claimed.

BOND: But, Leila, Musk waived thanks diligence in undertaking this offer, and that is like shopping for a dwelling without having performing an inspection.

FADEL: So what impact is the drama acquiring on Twitter?

BOND: Very well, its share selling price is way down, and there are problems it could tank even further more if Musk backs out. And this is just adding to significant uncertainty and disruption for the company. Twitter has frozen selecting. It can be slicing shelling out. Quite a few top rated executives are leaving. So whether or not Musk goes by with the offer or walks away, the whole process threats leaving Twitter weaker than it was in advance of – broken.

FADEL: Ok. So to recap, a small in excess of a month ago, Musk offered to buy Twitter. Twitter initially resisted, later on recognized. Now Musk is the one particular with chilly toes, appropriate?

BOND: Sure, right. And Twitter states it’s nonetheless fully commited to finding this deal completed at the rate 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.

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