Elon Musk has threatened to pull out of his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, accusing the company of “thwarting” his requests to learn more about its user base.
Mr Musk stated in a letter to regulators that he was entitled to do his own measurement of spam accounts.
The letter formalises a dispute that has been simmering for weeks since Mr Musk put the deal “on hold” pending more information.
Twitter has defended its projections.
However, Mr Musk has stated that he believes spam and fake accounts account for far more than the less than 5% of daily users reported by Twitter.
“As Twitter’s prospective owner, Mr Musk is clearly entitled to the requested data to enable him to prepare for transitioning Twitter’s business to his ownership and to facilitate his transaction financing. To do both, he must have a complete and accurate understanding of the very core of Twitter’s business model – its active user base,” lawyer Mike Ringler wrote in the letter.
“Based on Twitter’s behaviour to date, and the company’s latest correspondence in particular, Mr Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights,” the letter said.
“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”
The dispute has cast further doubt on the takeover, which Twitter’s board of directors approved in April.
According to Twitter, Mr Musk waived typical due diligence rights in his eagerness to close the deal.
However, Mr Musk raised the issue of the spam accounts on social media last month, stating that the deal was on hold but that he was still committed to the acquisition.