Elon Musk has waived a deal to take over Twitter for $ 44 billion (£ 36.5 billion).

In a statement provided to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk representatives said Twitter violated the terms of an agreement and “appears to have provided false and misleading statements.”

They claimed that Twitter did not provide the data and information Musk requested to allow him to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts” on the social media platform.

“At times Twitter ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, at times rejected them for reasons that seem unwarranted, and at times claimed to comply by providing Mr. Musk with incomplete or unusable information,” the statement continues.

As a result of Musk’s decision, Twitter’s stock fell 7% in extended trading, well below the $ 54.20 it offered to pay for the company in April.

The terms of the deal require Mr. Musk to pay a $ 1 billion (£ 830 million) breakup fee if he doesn’t complete the transaction.

However, it appears that Twitter’s board of directors has no intention of accepting the payment and will instead take legal action.

Twitter president Bret Taylor tweeted that the company is “committed to closing the transaction at the price and terms agreed with Musk and intends to take legal action to enforce the merger agreement.”

“We are confident that we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancellery,” he added.

The possible unraveling of the deal is just the latest twist in a saga between the richest man in the world and one of the most influential social media.

Much of the drama took place on Twitter, with Musk – who has more than 95 million followers – complaining that the company was not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech.

Tesla’s chief executive had previously threatened to suspend the deal unless the company proved that spam and bot accounts were less than 5% of users seeing advertisements on its service.

Last month, Twitter granted Musk access to his “fire hose,” which is the storage location for raw data on hundreds of millions of daily tweets.

Musk’s flirtation with the Twitter purchase appeared to have begun in late March, when Twitter said it reached out to members of its board – including co-founder Jack Dorsey – and told them it was buying stock in the company. he was interested in joining the board, taking private Twitter or starting a competitor.

He later revealed, in a regulatory filing, that he became the company’s largest shareholder after acquiring a 9% stake worth about $ 3 billion.

Initially, Twitter offered Mr. Musk a seat on its board.

But six days later, Twitter’s chief executive tweeted that Mr. Musk won’t be joining the board after all, and his offer to buy the company materialized soon after.

Within Twitter, Musk’s offer was met with confusion and falling morale, especially after he publicly criticized one of Twitter’s top attorneys involved in content moderation decisions.

After the deal was concluded, the company instituted a hiring freeze, stopped discretionary spending, and fired two top managers.

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