Twitter to share data at heart of Elon Musk deal dispute, report says

Tesla CEO says social network is failing to provide data on fake accounts and bots

The Twitter icon is displayed outside the company's corporate office in New York. Elon Musk has threatened to back out of his deal to purchase the company. EPA
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Twitter will yield to Elon Musk's demand for internal data central to a standoff over his troubled $44 billion bid to buy the social media platform, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The news comes days after the Tesla chief threatened to back out of his deal to purchase Twitter, accusing it of failing to provide data on fake accounts.

The Post cited an unnamed source familiar with the negotiations as saying Twitter's board had decided to let Mr Musk gain access to its full “fire hose” of internal data associated with the hundreds of millions of tweets posted daily at the service.

“This would end the major standoff between Musk and the board on this hot button issue which has paused the deal,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a tweet.

Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal has said that fewer than 5 per cent of accounts active on any given day are bots, but that analysis cannot be replicated externally due to the need to keep user data private.

About two dozen companies already pay to access the massive trove of internal Twitter data, which includes records of tweets along with information about accounts and devices used to fire them off, the Post reported.

Twitter declined to comment on the Post report but has defended its responsiveness to Mr Musk's requests, and vowed to complete the deal on the original terms.

Mr Musk agreed to buy Twitter in a $44bn deal in late April.

He began making significant noise about fake accounts in mid-May, saying on Twitter he could walk away from the transaction if his concerns were not addressed.

Some observers have seen Mr Musk's questioning of Twitter bots as a means to end the takeover process, or to pressure Twitter into lowering the price.

The potential for Mr Musk to take Twitter private has stoked protest from critics who warn his stewardship will embolden hate groups and misinformation campaigns.

US securities regulators have also pressed Mr Musk for an explanation of an apparent delay in reporting his Twitter stock buys.

Updated: June 09, 2022, 3:54 AM
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