Elon Musk to Twitter: I'm Walking Away

But Twitter says it intends to make him honor his deal to buy the company
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2022 3:41 PM CDT
Updated Jul 8, 2022 5:56 PM CDT
'Twitter Willing to Go to War' With Musk Over Deal
Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla factory in Gruenheide, Germany, in March 2022.   (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP, File)

(Newser) Update: The drama intensifies. Elon Musk notified Twitter and the SEC late Friday afternoon that he wants out of his deal to buy the company, reports the Wall Street Journal. He accused Twitter of failing to provide all the information he has requested on fake accounts. Twitter, though, won't let him go without a fight. The board is “committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement," tweeted board chair Bret Taylor. "We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.” Our story from earlier Friday follows:

Elon Musk's flirtation with becoming the new owner of Twitter has had plenty of drama, and it has ramped up even more in the last day or two:

  • In doubt: The Washington Post reported that Musk's deal to buy the company is in "serious jeopardy," with Musk's team continuing to claim thatTwitter has not provided enough information about the number of bogus, or bot, accounts on the platform. As a result, Musk is "expected to take potentially drastic action" to kill the deal, according to the story.
  • Surprise: The deal-is-doomed nature of the Post report caught Twitter by surprise, reports the New York Times. While the Post didn't specify what actions Musk might take, the Times spells it out: "He could deliver a letter to Twitter saying he is terminating the deal, and he could sue Twitter." Those two things would likely happen at the same time. However, the Times story notes that Twitter is preparing to fight back hard to save the deal and would likely countersue.

  • Fightin' words: A story in the Financial Times buttresses the notion that Twitter won't let Musk drop the deal easily—and would try to at least make him pay a $1 billion fee for walking away from it. “Parag wants to swing back more and is being more aggressive internally,” a former Twitter exec tells the outlet, referring to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, per the New York Post. “It seems Twitter is willing to go to war to make this deal happen.” Agrawal, incidentally, would collect an estimated $42 million under the Musk buyout.
  • Layoffs/shares: Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter is laying off one-third of its "talent acquisition team"—ie, recruiters—as it copes with a slowdown affecting the entire tech sector. On Friday, in the wake of all this news, Twitter's stock declined to about $37 per share, well below Musk's offer of $54.20 per share.
(Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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