Skip to main content

Elon Musk: Twitter deal 'temporarily on hold' over estimates of spam accounts


Show Caption

Elon Musk says his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter is "temporarily on hold."

In a tweet posted Friday, the Tesla and SpaceX founder cited spam or fake accounts on the social media platform, pointing to a Reuters report from earlier this month on Twitter estimating that less than 5% of its accounts are fake.

"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," Musk wrote.

Shares of Twitter plunged 8.5% in midday trading Friday.

In a subsequent tweet, the billionaire said he remained "committed to acquisition."

Musk’s tweet comes a day after the social media company fired two of its top managers. Twitter said the company is pausing most hiring, except for crucial roles, and is “pulling back on non-labor costs to ensure we are being responsible and efficient.”

Don't care for clout?: How to hide likes on Instagram

Tech tips: 5 major tech annoyances and how to fix them

The tweet could generate a negative reaction from Wall Street, which could view it as either a way for Musk to get out of buying Twitter or look to negotiate for a lower price, said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.

"The nature of Musk creating so much uncertainty in a tweet (and not a filing) is very troubling," Ives wrote in an investor note Friday. 

Getting rid of spam and fake accounts was one of Musk's priorities when he reached a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk has also criticized how Twitter moderates content. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Earlier this week, during an interview with The Financial Times, Musk said that if the deal is approved, he would allow former President Donald Trump to return to the platform. Trump was permanently banned after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

Looking for tech tips? We've got you covered: