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Elon Musk doesn’t want to buy Twitter anymore

A letter filed by Musk’s team says that Twitter has breached the contract by failing to provide key data

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Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks in Washington.

Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020.

Susan Walsh, Associated Press

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to terminate his offer to buy Twitter because of a “breach of multiple provisions of that Agreement,” according to a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Driving the news: “For nearly two months, Mr. Musk has sought the data and information necessary to ‘make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform,’” Musk’s team stated in the letter, per The Verge. “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information.”

Details: The letter claimed that the social media company “ignored” Musk’s requests for data, made as early as May 9, for unjustified reasons and at times claimed to comply by providing “incomplete or unusable information.”

  • Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said on May 16 that the company had shared with Musk the methodology it used to estimate the number of spam accounts.
  • “Unfortunately, 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),” he said in a long Twitter post, in which he explained the company’s policies for handling bots.

Flashback: Last month, the Deseret News reported that the billionaire CEO may have laid out the groundwork to go back on his initial offer to buy the social media platform for $44 billion by claiming that Twitter wasn’t willing to provide key data ahead of the sale. The data in question is the number of spam accounts on the app — which Twitter claimed was about 5% of over 200 million users, but Musk believes the number is much higher.

State of play: A $1 billion break up, to be paid out by the party responsible, is on the line, meaning that it may be up to the court to decide who bears the consequences.

What they’re saying: Salesforce co-CEO and Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor said that Twitter’s board is “committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” via a social media post.

“We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery,” he added.