Elon Musk has threatened to pull out of a $44 billion deal for Twitter, saying the company has refused to give him information about its fake accounts.
So Twitter now plans to give Musk access to a large swath of its data, potentially down to its very last tweet.
The social media company has agreed to allow Musk direct access to its “firehose,” the stream of millions of tweets that flow through the company’s network on a daily basis, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. Whether Musk will get full or partial access to that “firehose” is unclear.
The information would give Musk the tools to discern how many accounts on Twitter’s platform may be fake. But it isn’t likely to help him reach Twitter’s conclusion that 5 percent of its active accounts are fake, since the company uses a different methodology involving proprietary data and human analysis to get to that figure. Musk has said he doesn’t believe that just 5 percent of Twitter’s active accounts are fake.
Twitter’s move may make it more difficult for Musk to terminate the deal. On Monday, his lawyers sent a letter to the company, accusing it of stonewalling his efforts to obtain information that was essential to closing the acquisition. For weeks, Musk has also tweeted increasingly barbed comments about Twitter’s fake accounts, appearing to lay the groundwork to renegotiate or get out of the agreement.
Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April for $54.20 a share. If the deal falls apart, there is a $1 billion breakup fee. But the agreement includes a “specific performance clause,” which gives Twitter the right to sue him and force him to complete or pay for the deal, so long as the debt financing he has corralled remains intact.
A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on giving Musk access to the stream of tweets, but referred to a previous statement.
“Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement,” Twitter has said. “We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.” New York Times