Twitter gives in to Musk’s demands amid $61 billion threat

Twitter reportedly gave in to requests for data from Elon Musk after the Tesla founder threatened to pull out of the $61 billion takeover deal.

Twitter is preparing to give in to requests for access to Elon Musk’s data, after the tech mogul threatened the $61 billion takeover deal.

Mr Musk negotiated with Twitter to buy the social media platform for US$44 billion (A$61.3 billion), but recently claimed the deal was ‘temporarily suspended’ after asking the social media platform to clarify how many of its users were bots or spam accounts.

The Tesla founder accused the social media giant of “resisting and thwarting” his right to information about fake accounts, which he previously said was key to the massive deal underway.

He claimed that up to half of Twitter’s 229 million users could be fake. Twitter puts that number at around five percent.

Twitter’s board now plans to comply with Mr Musk’s demands by offering access to its comprehensive ‘firehose’ of data comprising more than 500 million tweets posted every day, The Washington Post reports.

A source close to the company’s thinking told the publication that the information could come as soon as this week.

A number of companies already pay for access to data, which includes real-time records of tweets, the devices they were posted from, and account information associated with the tweet.

A letter sent Monday by Mr. Musk’s legal team claimed that Twitter was “obligated” to provide information and data for “”any reasonable business purpose related to the completion of the transaction”.

“Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, raising new suspicions that the company is withholding requested data due to concern that its own analysis Musk of this data will uncover,” the letter from Mr. Musk’s attorney for Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, read.

“As the potential owner of Twitter, Musk is clearly entitled to the requested data to enable him to prepare for the transition of Twitter’s business to his ownership and to facilitate the financing of his transaction. To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model – its active user base.

“In any event, Musk is not required to explain why he requested the data, nor to submit to any new terms that the company attempted to impose on his contractual right to the requested data.”

The letter added that Mr Musk reserved the right to “terminate” the agreement.

Pulling out of the deal could see the billionaire hit with a $1 billion severance package.

It’s unclear why Mr Musk wants to know how many Twitter users are fake, but he could try to lower the social media platform’s price by showing it has fewer genuine followers.

He tweeted on May 17 that the deal “cannot move forward” until the true number of spam accounts is revealed.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said in May that Twitter explained how it determines how many of its accounts are fake.

“We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and we look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you,” Mr Agrawal said at the time.

Mr Agrawal, who has been Twitter’s chief executive since the resignation of Jack Dorsey in November last year, added that spammers “are sophisticated and hard to catch”.

The Twitter CEO said he was convinced that only 5% of accounts were fake and that they randomly sampled thousands of accounts.

Mr Musk ostensibly posted the poop emoji on Twitter in response.

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