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Musk threatens to walk away from Twitter


Elon Musk at a news conference in January 2020 Associated Press/Photo by John Raoux, file

Musk threatens to walk away from Twitter

Billionaire Elon Musk suspects up to 20 percent of the accounts on Twitter don’t represent real people but instead push computer-generated spam. That’s quite a bit more than the social media company’s own estimate of 5 percent. Musk wants Twitter to let him investigate the difference before he finalizes a $44 billion deal to buy the company. But executives and shareholders say he is just delaying in hopes of getting a better price. Shareholders sued Musk last month, accusing him of intentionally driving down the stock price.

What happens if the deal falls through? Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, promised to make Twitter a more open marketplace of ideas by taking the company private and rewriting its content moderation rules. If that doesn’t happen, Twitter goes on the way it has — while likely suing Musk to try to keep the deal alive. The initial sales contract included a $1 billion penalty fee for Musk if he backed out.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard and Will Duffield of the Cato Institute discuss the possible changes to Twitter.


Lynde Langdon

Lynde is WORLD’s executive editor for news. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.

@lmlangdon


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