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Elon Musk says he put $44 billion Twitter deal on hold over fake accounts

DETROIT (AP) — billionaire has put his plan to buy on what he called a temporary “hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition.

Musk tweeted early Friday that he wanted to pinpoint the number of and fake accounts on the platform. He has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spambots” that mimic real people, and he appeared to question whether Twitter was underreporting them.

But the company has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the purchase.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical

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