Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said over the weekend his deal to buy Twitter should go through, if it meets a key condition showcasing the prior success of the company.
Musk was responding to a Twitter thread by Andrew Stroppa, regarding Musk’s counterclaim on Twitter — after the company sued the world’s richest man for attempting to pull out of the initial $44 billion agreement.
“@elonmusk’s counterclaim suit against Twitter. Clearly, from Twitter SEC filings, mDAU is the key metric. It is the key metric for its business rev. And its market value; mDAU is an ad hoc metric, created to protect Twitter’s interests. No competitor uses something similar,” the thread explained.
“When @elonmusk requested more information about spam and fake accounts; Twitter provided a vague response. Then provided outdated data; Then offered a fake data set (not real “firehose”); Then provided a cleaned data set where they already suspended the malicious accounts,” Stroppa added.
In response, the Tesla CEO explained the core argument for his reservations about purchasing the company: “Good summary of the problem. If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Good summary of the problem.
If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms.
However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 6, 2022
Twitter initially claimed there was only about 5 percent of bot accounts on the platform when Musk initially made his offer. Musk, however, believes that percentage is far higher than the tech giant is willing to let on.
“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!” he wrote.
Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, has been a recent target of Musk’s attacks during his attempts to purchase the social media company.
Musk filed a counterclaim last week as the ongoing legal battle drags out over the $44 billion deal.
“I have reviewed the counterclaims and declare that the matter contained therein insofar as it concerns my acts and deeds is true, and insofar as it relates to the acts and deeds of any other person, I believe it to be true,” a filing signed by Musk said, according to The New York Post.
The judge in the case recently allowed for a five-day expedited trial which will be taking place in October, however, the social media company attempted to have the trial take place in September — and for only four days, Yahoo Finance reported.
Musk’s attempt to purchase the company at a reasonable price has left him in a difficult situation, facing a lawsuit for his attempts to leave the deal, after the percentage of bots was far higher than he expected.
Irrespective of the outcome, Twitter will likely be in a worse position due to Musk’s counterclaim — while the business owner and innovator will continue to thrive with his various other companies.
Adding Twitter to his portfolio would be another personal milestone for the billionaire, but one that would be far more influential for civil society — given his support the First Amendment, free speech and his outside-the-box way of thinking.
This case will determine if Musk will be given the chance to run the platform and be forced to follow through on the purchase promise — or if this was just a chess move on his part, to force potentially false bot numbers out into the open to expose the big tech platform once and for all. Only time will tell.
You Can Follow Sterling on Twitter Here