Twitter will reportedly address Elon Musk’s concerns about the number of spam bots in its user base by providing full access to its internal platform data — a reversal that came after the billionaire threatened to quash his effort to buy the social media firm.
Twitter’s board of directors plans to allow Musk to review its data “firehose,” allowing the Tesla CEO and his legal team to access to every tweet posted to the platform each day, the Washington Post reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Musk could receive access to the pipeline, which includes data on the tweets themselves as well as the accounts and devices from which they originate, by as soon as this week, according to the report.
In an SEC filing earlier this week, the billionaire’s team had alleged that Twitter refused access to critical data about its user base that would “facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform.”
Musk’s team threatened to back out of his $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter. The billionaire has sought proof from Twitter to back up its claim that spam bots account for less than 5% of its overall user base.
Musk’s legal team has argued the data is essential for the billionaire’s understanding of Twitter’s revenue stream and overall business model.
“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,” Musk’s attorney said in the SEC filing.
“To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model — its active user base,” their letter added.
Twitter will provide access to the “firehose” despite purported skepticism from its executives that Musk will glean any new insights into its operations. Roughly two dozen companies already pay to receive access to the data stream.
Musk has yet to personally respond to the report. An effort to reach Musk was not immediately successful.
Twitter did not immediately return a request for further comment, but a company spokesperson provided a statement in response to the Washington Post’s report.
“Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement,” Twitter said in the statement. “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.”
Twitter shares were flat in trading Wednesday afternoon after the report’s publication. The stock remained at around $40, well below Musk’s offer of $54.20 per share.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Twitter’s move could assuage Musk’s concerns about the deal and end a standoff that has weighed on shares of both the social media and his electric vehicle company, Tesla, for days.
‘This would be a big step to get this major hot button issue around the fake accounts/bots front and center,” Ives tweeted.
Under the terms of the buyout agreement, Musk could be subject to a $1 billion breakup fee if he attempts to back out of the deal.
Some analysts have speculated that the billionaire may have gotten cold feet in recent days due to his massive personal investment in the transaction and a recent downturn in the broader tech market.
Reports said that Musk’s efforts to arrange financing to complete the transaction had stalled this week following his threat to nix the deal. Musk is slated to pay $33.5 billion in cash to cover the dealt, with debt financing accounting for the rest of the purchase price.