Elon Musk Says Bots Are a Problem for Twitter Deal, Not China

Elon Musk cautioned there are a number of issues to iron out before he can complete his $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc., including getting an accurate measure of bots on the social media platform and completing financing for the deal.

The proportion of fake, spam and bot accounts on the service is “still a very significant matter,” Musk said in an interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. “And of course there is the question of, will the debt portion of the round come together, and then will the shareholders vote in favor.”
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Musk, after cutting a deal to acquire Twitter for $54.20 per share in April, has repeatedly questioned its disclosures about fake accounts, fueling speculation he wants to cut the price of the deal or walk away completely. His lawyer has said Twitter must cooperate by providing the data requested so that Musk can secure the debt financing necessary to consummate the deal.

Banks have committed to provide $13 billion of debt financing to back Musk’s acquisition. The lenders include Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc.

The 50-year-old entrepreneur did make clear during the forum he’s thinking about how to improve the service. He said he would take responsibility for “driving the product” at Twitter, as he does at Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., though he doesn’t necessarily plan to be the chief executive officer.

“Ideally, I’d like to get like 80% of North America and perhaps, I don’t know, half the world or something ultimately on Twitter in one form or another,” he said. “And that means it must be something that is appealing to people. It obviously cannot be a place where they feel uncomfortable or harassed or they’ll simply not use it.”

Musk said he didn’t foresee …read more

Source:: Time – Business


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