Elon Musk Threatens to “Terminate” Twitter Deal, Shares Silly Reason He Shouldn’t Pay $1 Billion Penalty

Musk's lawyers sent a letter to Twitter accusing them of withholding user data

elon musk twitter terminate threaten buyout 1 billion penalty
Elon Musk, photo by Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP

    Elon Musk is threatening to “terminate” his $44 billion Twitter takeover, which is a problem, because his original purchase agreement included a $1 billion penalty if he pulled his offer. So the Tesla founder seems to be preparing the argument that the whole deal should be voided. He claims that Twitter is lying about the number of users who are “fake/spam accounts,” which is also a problem, because he already waived his right to due diligence. But since he has nothing to lose but pride, Musk is forging ahead anyway; his lawyer sent a letter to Twitter on Monday accusing them of “actively resisting and thwarting his information rights” regarding spam accounts.

    Musk began laying the groundwork for this strategy in mid-May, tweeting that in his experience about 20% of Twitter’s use base are “fake/spam accounts,” and that the true number “could be *much* higher.”

    Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal responded, “Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5%.” He added, “We don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share). Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as [monetizable Daily Active Users] on any given day.”