Elon Musk may be looking for a better deal with his Twitter acquisition and $44 billion may now be sounding like a price that is just a bit too high. During a tech conference called “All In” in Miami on Monday, Musk remarked that he believes 20 percent of users on the platform are fake or spam accounts, and it may be the reason the Tesla CEO did not rule out the possibility of a deal reformation that would require him to pay a lower price.
According to Bloomberg, Musk stated the possibility of a reformed Twitter does was not “out of the question,” a comment that surged further losses in Twitter’s stock, which has traded in the red for eight consecutive days. Analysts have questioned Musk’s taste for the $44 billion acquisition agreement over the past several days, pointing out the CEO’s nearly-impromptu concerns that raised red flags of a man who is looking for a way out.
“Our view is while Musk is committed to the deal the massive pressure on Tesla’s stock since the deal a changing stock market/risk environment [over] the last month, and a number of other financing factors has caused Musk to get ‘cold feet’ on the Twitter deal with the bot issue not a new issue and likely more of a scapegoat to push for a lower price,” Wedbush’s Dan Ives said in a note to investors earlier today.
While Musk reaffirmed that he is still committed to acquiring Twitter after stating the deal is on hold last week, he also confirmed during his nearly two-hour-long interview that a new price, especially a lower one, would not be far-fetched. Musk reportedly said that the more questions he asks Twitter brass, the more his concerns grow, as he is yet to receive a concrete answer on how many fake or spam accounts are on the platform.
Musk said he believes 20 percent of Twitter accounts are fake or spam, a number that needs to be significantly reduced and could be the reasoning behind his thirst for a renegotiation of terms. Perhaps Twitter is not as valuable with fewer users, of course, and Musk may feel that the already-large asking price of $54.20 per share is simply too high to justify when one-in-five users are not actually humans.
If Musk backs out of the deal, he will be required to pay Twitter a $1 billion termination fee and could be subjected to additional litigation due to damages.