After several weeks, Twitter’s Board has reportedly agreed to comply with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s demands over the social media company’s bot data. Musk had announced that he was putting his Twitter buyout on hold until the social media platform provided him with legitimate data on its fake and spam accounts.
The Washington Post reports that Twitter will offer Musk with a “firehose” of data as soon as this week, including a real-time record of the more than 500 million tweets posted every day, what devices they come from, and information on the accounts that tweet.
The intelligence might be sent to Musk as soon as this week, according to the Post’s source. However, this information is not exclusive, as Twitter charges around two dozen corporations for access to the firehose. The data in the firehose is useful because it contains a real-time record of tweets, as well as information on the accounts that are tweeting.
It’s unclear whether Musk’s legal team will view the data from Twitter’s firehose as a solution to his concerns. It should, however, disclose additional information about Twitter’s operations, which Musk’s legal team believes is necessary for determining the level of spam and bot activity on the network, which might affect the company’s ad revenue.
The board’s approval is a success for Musk, who put his $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter on hold and threatened to pull out if Twitter refused to hand over information that would allow his team to compute the amount of bogus or spam accounts on the platform.
Here’s what Musk’s legal team wrote:
“Based on Twitter’s behavior to date, and the company’s latest correspondence in particular, Mr. Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement. This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”
On May 13, he stated that his purchase of Twitter would be delayed until he could verify Twitter’s claim that spam or false accounts account for less than 5% of its users. Musk has estimated the figure to be closer to 20%, a figure backed up by several independent studies, but he has claimed that he needs access to Twitter’s data to be certain.
Musk’s legal team filed a letter to Twitter on Monday accusing the firm of failing to comply with his request for information on spam accounts, which he has made since May 9.
Musk’s lawyers wrote:
“As Twitter’s prospective owner, Mr. Musk is clearly entitled to the requested data to enable him to prepare for transitioning Twitter’s business to his ownership and to facilitate his transaction financing. To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model—its active user base,” Musk’s lawyers wrote.
“If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates,” the letter stated.
In a statement on Monday, Twitter said it:
“Has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.”
“We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”