Elon Musk Steps Away From Twitter Deal

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…As Twitter is taking the matter to court.

Elon Musk wants to cancel his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. The social media company is pushing for the deal to continue. The result will likely be an extended legal battle in the Delaware Court of Chancery to determine the future of the takeover.

Musk argues that Twitter has a much larger number of bot-controlled spam accounts than the social media company reports. Musk claims the figure could be as high as 20 percent of the site’s registrations. Twitter puts the proportion at closer to 5 percent.

Twitter’s team has not supplied accurate figures about the number of bot accounts, according to Musk. He argues that not handing over the correct info is grounds for terminating the deal.

The purchase contract with Twitter includes an agreement where Musk can cancel the deal by paying $1 billion under certain situations. For example, the debt financing he as for Twitter would have to go away.

As of this writing, Twitter’s stock is trading at $33.49 per share. Musk’s agreement would pay $54.20 a share for a total of $44 billion. The significant difference in value is why Twitter is pushing Musk to complete the deal.

According to reporting from the New York Times, going to court might be a strategy by Musk to get Twitter to the negotiating table in an effort to lower the purchase price. It’s also possible for the Delaware court to find that Twitter isn’t violating the agreement but not force Musk to buy the social media company. In that case, he would just pay damages.

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