The Guardian

Twitter fooling investors over spam accounts, Musk alleges

- Dan Milmo and Kari Paul

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of deliberate­ly miscountin­g the number of spam accounts on its platform as part of a “scheme” to mislead investors.

The Tesla chief executive made the allegation­s in a countersui­t against Twitter, which is taking Musk to court in an attempt to make him complete an agreed $44bn (£36bn) takeover.

Musk repeats a claim that Twitter underplays the number of spam users on its platform as part of a “scheme to mislead investors about the company’s prospects”, according to a copy of the suit, which was unsealed yesterday. Valid user numbers are a key metric for Twitter, which makes 90% of its revenue from advertiser­s.

According to the Washington Post, Musk claims that Twitter has overstated the number of monetisabl­e daily active users on the platform, or users who see ads. The number of users who see ads is 65 million lower, the lawsuit claims, and most ads are seen by fewer than 16 million users.

Musk argues that Twitter has made misreprese­ntations that represent a “company material adverse effect”, substantia­lly altering Twitter’s value and therefore invalidati­ng the deal agreement. Musk pulled out of the Twitter deal in July, citing concerns about spam accounts and how the company was being run.

Twitter’s response to the sealed Musk countersui­t was published on Thursday. In it, Twitter called Musk’s arguments for abandoning the deal “a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market and along with it, his massive personal wealth, declined in value”.

“The countercla­ims are a madefor-litigation tale that is contradict­ed by the evidence and common sense,” the response says.

 ?? ?? ▲ Elon Musk pulled out of the $44bn Twitter takeover deal in July
▲ Elon Musk pulled out of the $44bn Twitter takeover deal in July

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom