Elon Musk said Friday that his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter is “temporarily on hold” pending details on spam and fake accounts on the social media platform, another twist amid signs of internal turmoil over the proposed acquisition.
In a tweet, the Tesla billionaire linked to a Reuters story from May 2 citing a financial filing from Twitter that estimated false or spam accounts made up fewer than 5% of the company’s “monetizable daily active users” in the first quarter.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.
A short time later on Friday morning, Musk tweeted that he remains committed to the purchase.
It wasn’t clear whether the issue could scuttle the deal. Shares of both Twitter and Tesla swung sharply in opposite directions, with Twitter’s stock tumbling 17% to $37.20 before trading opened in the U.S, and Tesla, which Musk had proposed using to help fund the Twitter deal, jumping 5%. Twitter’s stock price is now well below the $54.20 per share that Musk agreed to pay for the company.