Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Inc. and the world’s richest person, says his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter is “temporarily on hold”, pending details on spam and fake accounts on the social media platform.
Musk said this in a tweet on Friday.
The development is another twist after signs of internal turmoil amid the billionaire’s planned buyout of the company, including that Twitter fired two of its top managers Thursday.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users,” Musk tweeted.
The Tesla billionaire has been vocal about fake accounts, but it is unclear if the issue would be a deal-breaker.
Since Musk showed interest in Twitter, shares of the social media company have been dropping, suggesting some concern among investors that the deal would not be completed.
Twitter has slid nearly 13 percent since reaching its high for the year in late April.
On Thursday, the stock traded at $45.08, below the $54.20 that Musk agreed to pay on April 27.
The difference represents more than $9 billion in market value.
Musk had initially offered to buy the social media company at $43 billion, before agreeing to pay $44 billion.
His decision to buy Twitter was to promote free speech.
Musk also received support of over $7.1 billion from friends and investors to help with the acquisition of Twitter.