Billionaire Elon Musk says he is "still committed" to buying Twitter after he said earlier Friday that his plan to buy it for $44 billion is "temporarily on hold."
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk wrote in a tweet, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.
He then followed up in a separate tweet, writing: "Still committed to acquisition."
Still committed to acquisition
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Musk linked to a Reuters report on Twitter's estimate that less than five percent of the social media accounts are fake, and he wants details on how Twitter came up with that number.
Musk, who has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter's problem with “spambots” that mimic real people, appeared to question whether the company was underreporting them.
The Space X and Tesla founder is buying the platform due to Twitter's blatant censorship of conservatives in recent years.
It wasn’t clear whether the bot issue could break the deal. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.
Stock in both Twitter and Tesla reacted, going in opposite directions, with Twitter’s stock tumbling 14%, and shares of Tesla, which Musk had proposed using to help fund the Twitter deal, jumped 7%.
The proposed deal has put downward pressure on shares of Tesla, which had already fallen 16% this week.
The sharp jump in the price of Tesla shares before the opening bell Friday signaled to market experts about possible doubts among investors that the acquisition of Twitter will take place.
Musk has already sold off more than $8 billion worth of his Tesla shares to finance the purchase.
Originally Musk had committed to borrowing $12.5 billion with Tesla stock as collateral to buy Twitter. He also would borrow $13 billion from banks and put up $21 billion in Tesla equity.
Last week, Musk strengthened the equity stake in his offer for Twitter with commitments of more than $7 billion from a diverse group of investors including Silicon Valley heavy hitters like Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
As CBN News reported, Musk made headlines earlier this week when he said he will reverse Twitter's permanent ban of former President Donald Trump should he conclude his deal to acquire the social media company.
Musk, speaking virtually at a Future of the Car summit hosted by The Financial Times, said Twitter's ban on President Trump was a "morally bad decision" and "foolish in the extreme."
He said permanent bans of Twitter accounts should be rare and reserved for accounts that are scams or automated bots.
"I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice," Musk said.
Musk added that his distaste for permanent bans is shared by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who voiced his agreement in a Tuesday tweet.
Twitter banned Trump's account in January 2021 claiming "incitement of violence" following the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
Trump has previously said that he had no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his account was reinstated, telling Fox News last month that he would instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social, which has faced significant problems with its launch that took place earlier this year.