LONDON – Elon Musk said on Friday that his planned $ 44 billion Twitter purchase has been “temporarily suspended” until details of spam and fake social media accounts are revealed.

On Twitter, the billionaire Tesla cites a May 2 Reuters story citing financial information from Twitter, which estimated that fake or spam accounts accounted for less than 5% of the company’s “monetized daily active users” in the first quarter.

“The Twitter transaction has been suspended until details confirm that spam / fake accounts actually account for less than 5% of users,” Musk said, adding that he was skeptical that the number of invalid accounts was so small. .

It was unclear whether the issue could ruin the deal. Shares on both Twitter and Tesla turned sharply in opposite directions: Twitter shares fell 18%, and Tesla, which Musk proposed to use to finance the Twitter deal, jumped 5%.

Investors had to weigh the legal issues for Mask, as well as the possibility that the acquisition of Twitter could distract from managing the world’s most valuable automaker.

Musk’s tweet came a day after the company fired two of its top executives on social media. Twitter said the company is suspending most hiring, except for critical roles, and “cutting non-work-related costs to ensure we are responsible and efficient.”

In a note sent to employees and confirmed by Twitter, CEO Parag Agraval said the company had not reached the growth and revenue stages after the company began “aggressively” investing to expand its user base and revenue.

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