A close-up of Elon Musk smiling at an event.

Twitter deal in the air as Elon Musk threatens to walk away after repeated requests for bot data

Elon Musk has threatened to walk away from his $44 billion ($61 billion) offer to buy Twitter, accusing the company of giving him information about its spam bot and fake accounts.

Attorneys for the CEOs of Tesla and SpaceX expressed the threat in a letter to Twitter Monday, and Twitter disclosed it in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The letter said Mr Musk had repeatedly requested the information since May 9, about a month after his offer to buy the company, so he could assess how many of the company’s 229 million accounts are fake.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal had said Twitter had consistently estimated that less than 5 percent of its accounts were fake. But Mr Musk has disputed that, claiming in a tweet from May that 20 percent or more was fake.

Shares of Twitter Inc fell just under 3 percent Monday, likely to the anger of Twitter shareholders who filed a lawsuit late last month against Mr. Musk for lowering the stock’s price. Shares of Twitter have fallen 23 percent in the past month.

Twitter said in a statement Monday that it “has and will continue to share information with Mr. Musk to complete the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.”

Mr. Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April for $54.20 per share. A number of Mr Musk’s actions since then, including a public spat with Twitter’s CEO over the fake accounts — on Twitter — has led some pundits to question whether the billionaire wants to go through with the deal, or at least want his offer. to lower.

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