One of the 12 months’s largest tech tales is the proposed acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk in a deal that could possibly be price about $44 billion. It all occurred so quick and, ever since, it is appeared like Musk has been attempting to again away: after saying that the deal was “temporarily on hold” because of bots, the billionaire has subsequently devoted a substantial portion of his time to winding-up Twitter executives and complaining concerning the platform’s transparency.

Musk’s authorized crew has despatched a brand new letter to Twitter that continues to bang the drum about bots. Dated June 6 and addressed to Twitter’s chief authorized officer Vijaya Gadde, the letter says partly:

“Twitter has, in fact, refused to provide the information that Mr. Musk has repeatedly requested since May 9, 2022 to facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform. Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s own testing methodologies, whether through written materials or verbal explanations, is tantamount to refusing Mr. Musk’s data requests.”

It goes on to say that “Twitter must also provide reasonable cooperation in connection with Mr. Musk’s efforts to secure the debt financing necessary to consummate the transaction, including by providing information ‘reasonably requested’ by Mr. Musk (Section 6.11).” It goes on to quote varied different the explanation why Musk’s crew imagine Twitter has handy over the info he desires, earlier than issues take a little bit of a nasty flip: “At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

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This is basically the arrange for a warning that can come as no shock to individuals who’ve been following the saga. Musk tweeting about what occurred with the deal is one factor: right here his legal professionals inform Twitter instantly that this explicit situation might result in the deal being cancelled:

“Mr. Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights […] This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”

So that makes it official. Only Musk is aware of what the play right here is: it might be that the preliminary provide wildly overvalued the corporate and he is after a less expensive worth. It could also be that Twitter was one thing of an impulse buy, wild as that appears, and he desires to again out fully. And approach again in a distant third place, maybe he actually is apprehensive about bots.

The deal will depend on Musk assembling a $43.4 billion finance package deal to pay $54.20 per Twitter share. At the time of writing Twitter’s shares are buying and selling at round $39.50, which is within the context of a wider market downturn that has additionally hit Tesla: even so, it makes Musk’s preliminary provide appear beneficiant to say the least.

But do not take my phrase for it: here is a Wall Street tech analyst who works for Wedbush Securities.

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Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has remained silent, which might be for the most effective: final time he engaged with Musk in public, Agrawal tweeted concerning the failings of exterior research on Twitter bots. Musk replied to this tweet with a poop emoji.

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So the will-he-won’t-he saga of the billionaire troll continues. Should Musk pull out of the deal, he must pay Twitter a ‘cancellation payment’ of $1 billion—although if it involves that, you could be certain the legal professionals will spend years haggling over the precise quantity. As John Paul Getty, the richest man of his time, as soon as remarked in one other context: “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.”

The Twitter takeover appeared like one of many 12 months’s largest tech tales: however now it is for very totally different causes. Musk does appear to be searching for a approach out, or on the very least a lower cost—however on the identical time retains tweeting frankly weird customized photos like this, which counsel in any other case. If the deal does nonetheless occur, maybe this would be the first multi-billion company acquisition where the brand new proprietor celebrates with a meme.