Key Events in Elon Musk’s Attempt to Buy Twitter

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter appears to be on the brink of collapse.

In a letter, lawyers for the boss of Tesla and SpaceX said the platform “has failed to meet its contractual obligations” around the deal, namely giving it enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts.” on the Twitter platform.

Here is a timeline of how the deal has played out:

April 4 – A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that Musk bought just over 9% of Twitter stock, making him the company’s largest shareholder.

April 5: Twitter announces that Musk will join the company’s board.

Elon Musk announced in April that he intended to buy Twitter outright (Brian Lawless/PA)

April 11: Musk reverses his decision and Twitter confirms that the billionaire will not join the board.

April 14: Musk makes an offer to buy the company outright and take it private. It is offering US$44bn (£36.5bn), or US$54.20 (£45) per share.

April 15 – In response, Twitter plans to implement what is known as a “poison pill” policy, which would allow existing shareholders to buy shares at discounted prices to dilute Musk’s holdings and prevent a sale. But Musk and Twitter begin negotiations on a deal.

April 25: An agreement is reached on the price Musk initially offered: US$44 billion.

May 10 – During a public appearance, Musk says he would reverse Twitter’s current permanent ban on former US President Donald Trump’s account.

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Tesla boss talked about reversing Donald Trump’s Twitter ban (Financial Times/PA)

May 14 – Musk begins raising questions about the number of bot accounts on the platform, saying the deal is “temporarily suspended” as he tries to get more information on the levels of spam and fake accounts on Twitter.

May 16: Musk continues to publicly argue with Twitter executives, sending a poop emoji in response to a tweet from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal that reiterates the company’s belief that only 5% of accounts on the site are bots.

Musk also uses a public appearance later that day to suggest a deal could be made for the platform at a lower price and estimates that Twitter has at best 20% bots.

May 17 – Musk says the deal “can’t move forward” until he gets “proof” that bots are only 5% of spam accounts on the platform. Several experts suggest that he is trying to force the deal to be renegotiated at a lower price.

On the same day, Twitter says it still planned to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement” with Musk.

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Concerns raised about bots on the platform (Andrew Matthews/PA)

June 6 – Musk says he has “the right to terminate the merger agreement” in a letter from his lawyers to Twitter’s legal team over what he claims is the company’s lack of cooperation regarding spam account data .

June 8: Twitter agrees to give Musk access to its data “fire hose,” which contains data from all public tweets, to help with his investigation.

July 7: The Washington Post reports that Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is “in jeopardy” after his team concluded that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are unverifiable.

Jul 8 – The deal is on the verge of collapse after Musk sends a letter to the SEC saying he is canceling the acquisition.

In the letter, he says Twitter “has failed to meet its contractual obligations” around the deal, namely giving him enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on the Twitter platform.”

In response, Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor said he is “committed” to closing the transaction at the price and terms agreed with Musk and plans to take legal action to enforce the merger deal.

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