Elon Musk Moves To Kill Twitter Deal

Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City.
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage via Getty Images)

Elon Musk has dropped his bid for social media giant Twitter, telling the FCC it was because Twitter refused to provide critical information about just how many spam accounts were on the platform.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk's X Holdings said that for the past two months Musk has made it clear that he views Twitter's "non-responsiveness" to be a material breach of the merger agreement, which he has the right to terminate if the problem went uncured, as he told the FCC was the case. 

Musk said he had given Twitter "repeated, detailed clarifications intended to simplify identification, collection, and disclosure of the most relevant information sought."

"Mr. Musk hereby exercises X Holdings I, Inc.’s right to terminate the Merger Agreement and abandon the transaction contemplated thereby, and this letter constitutes formal notice of X Holding I, Inc.’s termination of the Merger Agreement." 

Twitter’s board of directors had backed Musk's bid to take over the company. Its members unanimously voted to accept the deal and advised shareholders to do the same.

The move by Tesla and SpaceX owner Musk could have meant the return of a tweeting Donald Trump, since Musk has said he would restore the former president's account. Trump, who has been signaling a likely run in 2024 via his own Twitter-less social media work-around, was banned from the site in January 2021 — after Twitter concluded his tweets had incited violence at the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot and could do so again. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.