Tesla boss Elon Musk’s prolonged takeover of Twitter could be back on amidst reports the social media platform is planning to allow him access to its ‘firehose’ of raw data on hundreds of millions of daily tweets.
The £34.5bn deal has been in doubt in recent weeks due to Musk’s concerns over the number of fake and bot accounts using the site.
For their part, Twitters shareholders filed a lawsuit against the EV tycoon, accusing him of attempting to drive down the company’s value.
Lawyers involved in the deal would not confirm the data sharing agreement. Musk made no comment on Twitter, although he has previously been vocal about various aspects of the deal.
Twitter declined to confirm the reports and pointed to a Monday statement in which the company said it is continuing to ‘cooperatively’ share information with the Tesla CEO.
Musk, who struck a legally binding agreement to buy Twitter in April, contends that the deal cannot proceed unless the company provides more information about the prevalence of fake accounts on its platform.
He has argued, without presenting evidence, that Twitter has significantly underestimated the number of these ‘spam bots’ – automated accounts that typically promote scams and misinformation – on its service.
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also announced an investigation into Twitter for allegedly failing to disclose the extent of its spam bot and fake accounts, saying his office would look into ‘potential false reporting’ of bots on Twitter.
The Washington Post first reported Twitter’s plan to provide Musk with full access to the firehose, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Other reports suggested the billionaire might only receive partial access.
Twitter’s reported offer could blunt Musk’s attempts to use the spam bot issue to cast doubt on the deal’s future.
Since the deal was announced in April, Tesla has lost a third of its value and Musk was recently forced to issue a statement reaffirming his commitment to the company.