San Francisco tech billionaire Elon Musk is bringing up a cheaper price for his takeover attempt on Twitter. A deal on a lower bid is “not out of the question,” Musk said in a video interview at a conference on Monday. Twitter’s stock ended the day in U.S. trading down a good eight percent at $37.38. That’s a far cry from the $54.20 per share that the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla has promised Twitter shareholders so far.
Musk had sent the stock on its own down to the weekend by declaring the deal to buy Twitter “provisionally suspended”. He wanted to wait for calculations to show that accounts that have no real users actually made up less than five percent. It is still unclear whether Musk can even put his agreement with the Twitter Board of Directors on hold from a legal point of view.
At his conference appearance, Musk estimated that fake profiles account for at least a fifth of all Twitter accounts, as the financial service Bloomberg reported. He did not name a basis for this. Earlier, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tried to explain the service’s methodology in estimating the number of spam and bot accounts in a series of tweets.
Musk countered with a pile of feces emoji and asked, among other things, whether Twitter had tried to simply call users with suspicious-looking accounts. Twitter cites the number of 229 million daily users that the service can reach with its advertising. The fake accounts identified by Twitter have already been deducted in this number.