Twitter boss hits back on Musk doubts over fake accounts

 1 month ago
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Twitter boss hits back on Musk doubts over fake accounts

Published16 minutes ago
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Elon Musk put his takeover of Twitter on hold last week

The head of Twitter has hit back after billionaire Elon Musk said his $44bn deal to buy the platform was "on hold" while he sought more details about fake accounts.

Chief executive Parag Agrawal said he had "confidence" in the firm's claims that less than 5% of users are spam.

He said the firm suspended roughly 500,000 suspect accounts daily.

Analysts have speculated that Mr Musk may be looking for ways to renegotiate the price of the deal or walk away.

Mr Agrawal said the company used a combination of public and private data to determine which accounts were real, reviewing random samples every few months. The margins of error are well within its estimate of spam accounts representing less than 5% of daily users, he said.

He said the firm had shared an "overview" of its process with Mr Musk last week.

"We... look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you," he said,

On Friday, Mr Musk said he had put the deal on hold pending information "supporting [the] calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users".

He added later that he was "still committed to [the] acquisition", prompting Twitter board chairman Bret Taylor to respond "We are too".

But the stock market, which has seen weeks of turmoil wipe billions off the value of many companies, remains sceptical the deal will go through as outlined.

The price of a Twitter share has fallen below $38, sliding more on Monday after Mr Agrawal's tweets.

That is less than the price of the stock before Mr Musk revealed his interest in the company and well below the $54.20 per share he has offered.

Twitter's board approved the takeover last month, but the deal was not expected to be completed for months.

In a series of tweets last week discussing his decision to fire top executives, Mr Agrawal acknowledged the risk that the deal might not move forward.

"While I expect the deal to close, we need to be prepared for all scenarios and always do what's right for Twitter," he wrote.

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