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Elon Musk 'still committed' to $44 billion Twitter takeover despite putting deal 'on hold'

The Tesla chief executive tweeted the news this morning.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated May 13th 2022, 2:20 PM

ELON MUSK HAS said this morning that his deal to take control of Twitter and take the listed company private is “temporarily on hold”.

The Tesla chief executive tweeted the news this morning along with a link to a Reuters report from earlier this month.

According to the report, Twitter estimated in a regulatory filing on 2 May “that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter” of 2022.

Reuters reported at the time that Twitter said in the filing it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, such as whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter and “potential uncertainty regarding our future plans and strategy.”

Musk — who has pledged to tackle spambots on Twitter —posted the article, along with his own comment.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” he tweeted along with the link.

Hours later, however, he tweeted: “Still committed to acquisition.”

Twitter’s share price has fallen close to 11% since Musk’s tweet.

Tesla’s share price, meanwhile, jumped this morning in pre-market trading after falling around 28% since details of Musk’s plans to buy Twitter first became public.

Musk’s announcement follows days of market volatility after the US Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates for the second time in as many months last week.

Risky assets like cryptocurrencies have taken a pummelling in the days since the announcement.

The price of Bitcoin — the most popular and well-known crypto-asset — fell by over 50% at one point on Wednesday but has since recovered and is now down 9% on the week and close to 39% over the past year. Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in February 2021, the value of which had fallen to as low as $300 million at one point this week.

Separately, Twitter confirmed Thursday that it has paused hiring across the company amid a major shake-up of senior executives.

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Kayvon Beykpour, a general manager who leads research, design and engineering at Twitter, is leaving along with the social media giant’s head of products Bruce Falck, a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

Beykpour however said he was ousted from the San Francisco-based tech company.

“The truth is that this isn’t how and when I imagined leaving Twitter, and this wasn’t my decision,” Beykpour, who is on paternity leave, said in a tweet.

Twitter chief Parag Agrawal “asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he added.

Twitter also confirmed that effective this week, it is pausing all hiring except for business-critical roles.

— Additional reporting by © AFP 2022

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