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Elon Musk says his attempt to buy Twitter for $44bn 'temporarily on hold'

SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Published May 14, 2022

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Elon Musk says his attempt to buy Twitter for $44 billion is “temporarily on hold”.

The Tesla CEO wants to investigate the number of bots operating on the micro-blogging site before he finishes his controversial takeover.

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The 50-year-old entrepreneur wrote on Twitter on Friday: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”

Along with the message, Elon tweeted a link to a Reuters news article with the headline, “Twitter estimates spam, fake accounts comprise less than five percent – filing”. He has previously voiced his opposition towards them, saying a priority is “authenticating all humans” on the platform.

If the multi-billion deal falls through, he has promised a $1 billion break fee.

The news sent the shares of Twitter tumbling by roughly 23% before the market opened on Friday after worries that the deal may not take place

However, in a follow-up tweet, Elon said that he was “still committed to acquisition”, but the share price still fell around nine percent since Wall Street opened for daily trading, to roughly $41, lower than the $54.20 per share price Elon originally offered to cough up.

In a statement at the time of the deal being accepted, Elon said: "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated."

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Since this he has been vocal about some of Twitter's decisions to remove users such as former US president Donald Trump, after they believed he used the platform to incite violence at the Capitol building in January 2021.

He said: "I would reverse the permanent ban, but I don't own Twitter yet so this is not a thing that will definitely happen."

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