Elon Musk: Twitter deal could continue with ‘bot’ info

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SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk said on Saturday that his planned $44 billion acquisition of Twitter should go through if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are “spam bots” or real people.

The Billionaire and CEO of Tesla has attempted to withdraw from its April agreement to buy the social media company, which caused Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk contradicted himself, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of the user base and other issues he believed amounted to fraud and breach of contract.

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Both sides are heading for a trial in October in a Delaware court.

“If Twitter simply gives their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are confirmed to be genuine, the deal should go through on the original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “But if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then they shouldn’t be.”

Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that less than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that this could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the April merger agreement.

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Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to dissolve the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court that Thursdayit describes its counterclaims as an imagined story “contradicted by the evidence and common sense.”

“Musk makes up statements Twitter never made and then tries selectively to use the extensive confidential data Twitter has provided him to invoke a breach of those alleged statements,” company attorneys wrote.

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