On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the strongest hint yet that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer made last month.
Musk told a tech conference in Miami that a viable deal at a lower price would not be out of the question, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which said it saw a live video of the conference posted by a Twitter user.
Also at the All In Summit, Musk estimated that at least 20 percent of Twitter’s 229 million accounts are spambots, a percentage he said was on the low end of his assessment, according to the report.
READ | Gyanvapi Masjid case: Supreme Court to hear matter today, learn key updates
The appearance came a few hours after Musk began trolling Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to combat bots and how he has consistently estimated that less than 5 percent of Twitter accounts are fake.
Altogether, the day’s events reinforced analysts’ theories that Musk either wants out of the deal or is seeking a lower price, largely due to a big drop in the value of Tesla shares, some of which he pledged. to finance the acquisition of Twitter.
Shares of Twitter closed down just over 8 percent on Monday at $37.39, below where shares were just before Musk revealed he was Twitter’s largest shareholder. Musk made the offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share on April 14.
READ | DNA Special: Why PM Modi’s visit to Nepal is of deep concern to China
On Friday, Musk tweeted that his plan to buy Twitter was temporarily put on hold while he tried to identify the number of fake accounts on the social media platform. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said the hold was pending details of Twitter’s estimate that fake accounts make up less than 5 percent of its users.
In tweets Monday, Agrawal acknowledged that Twitter isn’t perfect for detecting spam. He wrote that each quarter, the company has estimated less than 5 percent spam.
Musk, using his favorite platform, responded with a smiley poop emoji, then asked how Twitter advertisers know what they’re getting for their money. Musk did not immediately return messages seeking comment. All In Summit said in an email that it would post the video of Musk’s appearance in the coming days.