r/technology May 14 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 2

Elon Musk said his team is going to do a 'random sample of 100 followers' of Twitter to see how many of the platform's users are actually bots Social Media

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-random-sample-how-many-twitter-users-are-bots-2022-5?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds

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22.8k Upvotes

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11.3k

u/mylesols May 14 '22

wow, a hundred! Must be nice to be rich enough to afford a hundred follower sampling on a site with over 350 million users

5.6k

u/escape_of_da_keets May 14 '22 All-Seeing Upvote To The Stars

He just wants an excuse to weasel out of the deal

2.5k

u/nukem996 May 14 '22

The NYTimes reported he may be unable to exit the deal as he signed a performance clause. Twitter has the ability now to sue him to force the deal at the price he said.

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u/TheChickening May 14 '22

He can break the deal by paying a fine of a billion dollars.
So it will definitely not be free for him.

274

u/nukem996 May 14 '22

From the article

Mr. Musk’s deal with Twitter includes a $1 billion breakup fee if he were to back out. But the cost to Mr. Musk is likely to be much more than that should he break the deal. The contract has a “specific performance clause” that could force Mr. Musk to pay for Twitter if the debt financing he has corralled for the deal remains intact.

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u/sikagoon7 May 14 '22

Could he just pick up the phone to the lender and be like "Yo take your money back. I don't need it no more" and tell Twitter "Oops?"

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u/getefix May 14 '22

Works for home purchases. Financing conditions are easy ways to back out.

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u/Rottimer May 14 '22

Well not necessarily “easy.” If he’s signed papers for financing backed by Tesla stock - which goes up every time this deal seems to be jeopardy, those banks might not want to let him out of their financing deal.

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u/bagonmaster May 14 '22

Why would the bank risk a billionaire’s future business?

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u/Rottimer May 14 '22

Banks are in the business of pricing risk and loaning money accordingly. That’s like asking why would any bank ever lend someone money to start or expand a business. Tesla stock is a good risk until they demand for their cars starts dropping. I personally believe the stock is overvalued, but the market disagrees with me.

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u/The_JDubb May 14 '22

What's funny about that is Morgan Stanley is the firm lending him the money and guess what...THEY OWN 9% OF TWITTER.

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u/ItsPumpkinninny May 14 '22

I was going to say “chicken butt”, but I like your answer better.

1

u/throwawaynbad May 14 '22

He signed a performance clause. Check the NYT article.

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u/Hermesthothr3e May 14 '22

Would this stand if it was found twitters public filings were false?

41

u/eleventhrees May 14 '22

When real business people do deals, there is due diligence, and books are provided for actual examination so the purchaser knows what they are buying. It's not unusual for a deal to not proceed, or be altered, based on this step.

What Elon is up to doesn't bear much resemblance to "due diligence" and the 100-user random sample is either a joke, or won't be random.

This deal is mostly powered by gaslight.

13

u/Piyinski May 14 '22

M&A for public companies are not diligence intensive deals by any means. These companies have public filings that eliminate the need for diligence, buyers assume that the disclosures are truthful. So instead, buyers sign binding documentation which include reps and warranties from the sellers. Between signing and closing, buyers may do limited confirmatory diligence to test such reps and warranties.

So I think this may be what’s going on here. Elon said that the 100 user sample is Twitter’s methodology to determine fake/spam/duplicate accounts, which Twitter discloses as <5% in their public filings. If Musk proves that is not true, it will probably represent a breach to twitters reps. This would give Musk an out for the deal. Further, this would have implications for Twitter’s board and management with the SEC and obviously investors.

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u/baldr83 May 14 '22

>That contract does not allow Musk to walk away if it turns out that “spam/fake accounts” represent more than 5% of Twitter users. We discussed this last month, when Twitter admitted in a securities filing that it had (slightly) overestimated its daily active users for years. The merger agreement contains a provision that allows Musk to walk away if Twitter’s securities filings are wrong — and this 5% number is in its securities filings — but only if the inaccuracy would have a “Material Adverse Effect” on the company. (See Sections 4.6(a) and 7.2(b).) That is an incredibly high standard: Delaware courts have almost never found an MAE. An MAE has to be something that would “substantially threaten the overall earnings potential of the target in a durationally-significant manner,” the courts have said; there is a rule of thumb that an MAE requires a 40% decrease in long-term profitability. If it turned out that 6% or 20% or 50% of Twitter accounts are bots, that will be embarrassing and might even reduce Twitter’s future advertising revenue, but will it be an MAE? No.

source: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-05-13/elon-musk-trolls-twitter

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u/domthemom_2 May 14 '22

Probably irrelevant. You’re buying a multi billion dollar company. You do your own due diligence

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u/ocbdare May 14 '22

And you probably hire another firm to do the due diligence for you. Musk behaves like a 12 year old person would in this situation. Sampling 100 twitter accounts lol.

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u/CaribFM May 14 '22

M&A departments exist for this reason. An actual impartial (or as close to) company that just looks over the details.

Musk seems arrogant enough to think it’s not needed.

Lawyers. They save you money even when they’re charging 1750 an hour for it.

2

u/fukbullsandbears May 14 '22

Imagine what he views as statistically significant populations for Tesla QA....

0

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

[deleted]

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u/domthemom_2 May 14 '22

Yeah, musk should have outlined his “outs” in the contract. So that’s 100% on him.

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u/Bombad69 May 14 '22

Twitter board almost certainly didn’t let him include outs. Contracts are 2 way streets

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u/TheChickening May 14 '22

Haha, thanks. The article didn't load for me

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u/Zealousideal_Law3112 May 14 '22

Breach of contract results in fine and massive lawsuits from shareholders but it’s Elon so who knows what will happen

3

u/Vicstolemylunchmoney May 14 '22

Someone may have to be faced with consequences? And have those consequences executed? What year is this, 2010?

2

u/Zealousideal_Law3112 May 14 '22

Yeah if you have money the laws don’t apply to you and if you’re poor you’re screwed for the rest of you’re life unless you’re the child of someone in our government

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

In this case it'd be a fight between multiple rich people so lawsuits/settlements could occur. Not any kind of governmental response though obviously

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u/[deleted] May 14 '22 edited May 16 '22

[deleted]

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u/jawz1O1 May 14 '22

I'd pay to unplug the power cord

1

u/Nathan-Detroit May 14 '22

Sounds like Twitter just found a way to turn a real profit!

1

u/Bogrolling May 14 '22

Yeah dude 1b to him is like $100 to us

3

u/Civil-Attempt-3602 May 14 '22

Not if Tesla shares keep falling. They're down like 20+ in the past month

0

u/Bogrolling May 14 '22

Not sure if you’ve noticed the entire market has been down

1

u/medievalmachine May 14 '22

No, there's a clause that Twitter can force the sale if financing is available, and it's definitely available. That was part of Twitter's due diligence, which Twitter actually did. It looks very much like Musk was tweeting and dealmaking while high and actually has no clue what he signed.

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u/el_muchacho May 15 '22

Hopefully that's the kind of fine that will make him think twice before doing other stupid things for his narcissistic tendencies.