LONDON — Elon Musk said Friday that his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter is “temporarily on hold” pending details on spam and fake accounts on the social media platform.
The announcement that the Tesla billionaire tweeted is another twist amid signs of internal turmoil over his planned buyout of Twitter, including that the social media company fired two of its top managers Thursday.
It wasn’t clear whether the fake account issue could scuttle the Twitter deal. Stock in both Twitter and Tesla swung sharply in opposite directions, with Twitter’s stock tumbling 18% and Tesla, which Musk had proposed using to help fund the Twitter deal, jumped 5%.
Investors have had to weigh legal troubles for Musk, as well as the possibility that acquiring Twitter could be a distraction from running the world’s most valuable automaker.
Twitter said Thursday that the company is pausing most hiring and except for business critical roles. In addition, it said in a statement, “we are pulling back on non-labor costs to ensure we are being responsible and efficient.”
In a memo sent to employees and confirmed by Twitter, CEO Parag Agrawal said the company has not hit growth and revenue milestones after the company began to invest “aggressively” to expand its user base and revenue.