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Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal ‘temporarily on hold over spam’

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His megadeal to acquire social media giant Twitter is “temporarily on hold,” Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk tweeted Friday.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” he said, providing a link to an early May Reuters article citing a Twitter regulatory filing. In that filing, the company estimated how many of its “monetizable daily active users” were false or spam accounts, the report noted.

The social media powerhouse reported 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter. That would mean 5 percent of those users would amount to 11.45 million.

Musk didn’t immediately provide further details or comments. He later in the Friday morning, however, followed up his comment with another tweet: “Still committed to acquisition.”

Twitter shares were down 10.6 percent in pre-market trading at $40.30.

Last month, Musk unveiled a $44 billion deal to take over Twitter and vowed to end its content moderation. With Musk having made “almost no mention of Twitter’s advertising customers” and emphasizing its subscription product, “there is a distinct possibility that marketers will take their ad campaigns to other platforms (Google, Facebook, Snap, TikTok, Reddit, etc.),” one Wall Street analyst argued.

Last week, Musk disclosed that he had received letters from investors committing nearly $7.14 billion in new financing for his takeover of Twitter and was also in talks to bring co-founder Jack Dorsey and others on board as investors.