New Delhi: Uncertainty looms over the transfer of ownership of social networking site Twitter as billionaire Elon Musk on Friday said that the $44 billion deal is on “hold”.

Musk offered to buy the popular microblogging site last month for $44 billion.

Elon Musk cited pending details in support of calculation that spam and fake accounts indeed represent less than 5% of users.

The move, which came as a surprise to most experts and Twitter users, has led to much speculation. While there is no doubt that Musk and Twitter are in agreement that Musk intends to purchase Twitter for $44 billion and close the deal in the coming months, there are speculations that he may back out of the deal.

Shares of the social media company fell 17.7% to $37.10 in premarket trading, their lowest level since Musk disclosed his stake in the company in early April and subsequently made a “best and final” offer to take it private for $54.20 per share.

The implied probability of the deal closing at the agreed price fell below 50% for the first time on Tuesday, when Twitter shares dropped below $46.75.

Musk, the world’s richest man and a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, had said that one of his priorities would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk’s representatives or his company Tesla Inc were not immediately available for a comment.

Musk has been critical of Twitter’s moderation policy. He has said he wants Twitter’s algorithm to prioritize tweets to be public and was against too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.


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