Elon Musk formally threatens to cancel Twitter deal after spam bot complaints

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks set to formally pull out of a £35bn ($44bn) bid to buy Twitter, after his legal team told the company it has failed to provide him with information on spam bots.

Musk's team wrote a letter to Twitter today claiming that "Twitter has, in fact, refused to provide the information that Mr Musk has repeatedly requested" on spam and fake accounts on the social media platform.

The letter threatens to "terminate" the agreement if the company does not hand over these stats.

The written threat follows weeks of complaints from Musk, who previously tweeted that the deal was 'on hold' because of his concerns about the scale of spam bots on the platform.

Twitter estimates suggest less than 5% of its users are spam or bot accounts, and the company's CEO Parag Agrawal said it had provided him with "an overview of the estimation process".

That hasn't stopped Elon throwing his toys out of the pram over the deal, which is one of the most expensive social media buyouts in Internet history.

Before the deal was finalised, Musk tweeted: "If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!".

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The deal has been on hold after Musk said: "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam / fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.

Musk has said he plans to majorly shake up the microblogging platform, including ending its work-from-home policy for staff. He also wants the site to do a better job with free speech and said he would reinstate former US President Donald Trump's account after it was banned for inciting insurrection.

Trump reportedly has said he won't return to Twitter even if given the option.

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