Elon Musk said on Friday his $44-billion deal for Twitter Inc was temporarily on hold. Since his announcement that he was going to acquire the microblogging site, several developments have taken place -both within Twitter and within the wider technology world - casting into doubt that decision.
FPJ looks at three of them
1. Officially Musk attributed his decision to spam/fake accounts on Twitter. In a tweet he said: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” Shares of the social media company fell 20 per cent in premarket trading. Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Musk had said that one of his priorities would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform.
2. Over the past few weeks tech stocks have taken a battering, thanks to inflation, rising interest rates, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.Most of the big company stocks have been in the tank: Apple is down about 15 per cent; Alphabet over 12 per cent; Airbnb close to 28 per cent. Netflix stock has lost half its value since mid-April.Twitter, though, remained stable, because it was being propped up by Musk’s $44 billion offer. Yet, The New York Times noted on Thursday, a full 24 hours before Musk’s announcement, “even that acquisition is in now doubt since the collateral for the purchase rests with his [Musk’s] fortune at Tesla. Like its peers, Tesla’s bottoming out, its stock having dropped nearly 30 per cent in the past month”
3. Internal developments at Twitter may have also prompted Musk to temporarily halt its bid. The company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, has shown the door to two senior executives. Consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour announced on Twitter that Agrawal “asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction”.Bruce Falck, the general manager of revenue and head of product for its business side, confirmed in a (now deleted) tweet that he was also fired by Agrawal. On Thursday evening Agrawal himself responded to both threads, thanking the men he’d fired and expressing admiration for their work.