Elon Musk says he's put the blockbuster Twitter deal on pause over fake accounts

Elon Musk says he wants to see more details about the number of fake accounts on Twitter before his deal to buy the social media platform goes through. He's seen here last week, arriving for the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Elon Musk says he wants to see more details about the number of fake accounts on Twitter before his deal to buy the social media platform goes through. He's seen here last week, arriving for the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Elon Musk said he's putting his $44 billion takeover of Twitter "temporarily on hold," saying that he wants more details about how many of the social platform's accounts are bogus or spam.

The Tesla and SpaceX mogul said he needs to make sure the fake accounts "do indeed represent less than 5%" of Twitter's users, as the company has estimated.

Musk tweeted about putting the massive deal on hold early Friday, sharing a recent Reuters news story about the takeover. He later added a reply stating, "Still committed to acquisition."

The article cited a federal filing Twitter made shortly after the company reached a sales deal with Musk, stating that of the 229 million Twitter users who saw advertising in the first quarter of 2022, less than 5 percent were fake accounts.

Twitter announced the deal to sell to Musk on April 25, saying he would take the company private by paying $54.20 per share in cash, after a whirlwind courtship between the billionaire and the social media platform.

Earlier this week, Musk said that once he completes the deal, he would reverse Twitter's permanent ban on former President Donald Trump. He called the ban "a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme."

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When Twitter announced in its purchase, it didn't give a precise deadline for closing the deal, saying only that it expects to complete the transaction sometime in 2022.

In his Friday update, Musk didn't provide any other details about putting the deal on hold, leaving it open to interpretation as to how he might postpone or delay the massive purchase.

The seriousness of the matter is also an open question, as Musk often uses Twitter to air spontaneous thoughts alongside his concrete plans.

Before he tweeted about the Twitter buy, for instance, Musk's previous message demanded, "Stop the war on straws!"

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