Having waived the right to due diligence in his initial offer, Elon Musk now faces the stark reality of having found out that his fucking around was a bad idea. Musk is throwing around the weakest of excuses, bot counting, in an attempt to also walk away from the $1B breakup fee he agreed to.
Elon Musk, current Tesla CEO and perhaps not Twitter's future owner, has a message for the social media network he once coveted but now comments on with a poop emoji: Prove to me that spam bots and fake accounts are less than 5% of Twitter users or watch me blow this whole deal up.
"Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does," Musk tweeted early Tuesday morning. The day prior, the richest man in the world had sparred with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, tweeting the poop emoji at the executive's explanation of the prevalence of automated accounts on the social network.
Musk has said that advertising won't be his path forward, so bots shouldn't matter. Having waived the right to due diligence, the count of bots shouldn't matter. Bots is the least important number in Twitters SEC filings to point at as inaccurate, as they disclose it as inaccurate.
The poop emoji he responded to Twitter's CEO with demonstrates his deep understanding of his situation. Having derailed Twitter's business with about as much planning as my last trip to McDonald's, Musk has done a lot of damage.
Uncertainty over the deal has led some to speculate that Musk either wants to back out of the deal or renegotiate the price. But backing out isn't so simple because he might face a breach-of-contract lawsuit from Twitter that could cost him billions of dollars, CNBC reported.
Musk and Twitter reportedly agreed to a $1 billion "reverse termination fee" when they reached their deal, but that doesn't mean Musk can just pay the fee and walk away. As CNBC noted, a reverse breakup fee typically applies when a deal can't close for some outside reason, such as a regulatory intermediation or third-party financing problems. Buyers can also walk away from deals if fraud is exposed, assuming it has a material adverse effect.
However, the reverse termination fee wouldn't apply simply because Musk thinks he offered too much money for Twitter. Walking away for that reason means Musk would not only have to pay the $1 billion fee, but also risk being sued for billions of dollars in damages.
Elon Musk appears a very wealthy child who wants us all to hear what he has to say.