- Shares of Twitter have given up all of their gains since Elon Musk disclosed his 9% stake in the company last month.
- Musk tweeted Friday that the deal is on hold until he finds out more details on how many fake accounts are on the platform.
- Musk would be on the hook for a $1 billion breakup fee if he abandons the deal.
Twitter shares have given up all of their gains since Elon Musk disclosed last month that he'd bought a 9% stake in the company.
The stock tumbled 8% on Monday to $37.39, falling below the $39.31 closing price on April 1, the last trading session before Musk revealed his minority ownership in Twitter. Investors have been dumping the stock on concern that Musk is going to abandon his agreement in late April to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, or $54.20 a share.
While the stock was already on the decline early last week, the sell-off accelerated after Musk tweeted on Friday that the deal is on hold until he finds out more details about fake accounts and how widespread they are on the platform. He later wrote that he's "still committed to acquisition," which prompted Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor to respond, "We are too."
Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, raised further alarm as he continued to tweet over the weekend about problems with Twitter's algorithm and other "potential bugs in the code."
On Thursday, Twitter announced it was freezing hiring, rescinding offers and cutting costs. Two executives also left the company, including its head of consumer product, Kayvon Beykpour, who said CEO Parag Agrawal asked him to leave.
Agrawal said Friday that he still expects the sale to Musk to go through, but that he's prepared to continue "leading and operating Twitter" in case it doesn't.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Agrawal outlined how Twitter combats spam and determines what percentage of accounts are fake on the platform, noting that the company can't publicly disclose specific details of the process because it relies in part on private user information.
"We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you," Agrawal wrote.
Musk replied to Agrawal's tweet, saying: "So how do advertisers know what they're getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter."
He replied to another of Agrawal's tweets with a smiling poop emoji.
With the continued slide in the stock, Twitter is now valued at a little over $29 billion, or roughly $15 billion below Musk's agreed upon purchase price.
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