In a document sent to the American stock exchange authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elon Musk announces that he abandoned his plans to buy Twitter.
Elon Musk is unpredictable, and the billionaire proves it once again by giving up the purchase of Twitter. For several weeks, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX has maintained doubt on his real motivations after saying he wanted to review the figures on the percentage of fake accounts.
This doubt had consequences on the stock market. Fearing a drop in the price or even an abandonment of the operation, the markets took fright and Twitter’s share price dropped considerably.
This announcement is all the more questionable when we know that fake Twitter accounts are a problem known to all, which Elon Musk had already identified, proposing to eliminate spam bots.
Twitter has declared that they represent less than 5% of its 229 million monetizable users, a figure that is questioned in the face of other estimates. Moreover, in April the company admitted that it had overestimated its number of users over the last three years.
Another surprising element: Musk could have or even should have asked for these verifications before concluding this $44 billion buyout offer. His approach can be interpreted as a way to find a legal loophole to renounce the buyout.
Indeed, the terms of the contract allow for withdrawal from the agreement in exchange for the payment of a $1 billion indemnity. This withdrawal also requires a reason that has a significant impact on future profits.
It is true that, after this heated debate, the purchase price now appears very high. However, is the underestimation of the number of fake accounts a sufficient reason? Experts strongly doubt it. The fact remains that by refusing to buy Twitter, Elon Musk is exposing himself to legal proceedings before the State of Delaware, which could take a long time.
By Mélissa Walehiane