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Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘temporarily on hold’

Elon Musk said on Friday he was putting a temporary halt on his much-anticipated deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, sending shares in the social media giant plummeting.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” the Tesla CEO said in a tweet.

Shares fell 20 percent in premarket trading.

In his tweet, the billionaire included a link to a May 2 Reuters article quoting Twitter’s filing on Monday.

“Twitter Inc estimated in a filing on Monday that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter,” the Reuters article said.

Musk told a Financial Times conference Tuesday that Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump was “morally bad.”

On Thursday, he stressed on Twitter that he does not back Trump as a presidential candidate.

“Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter,” he wrote.

The former president has said he does not want to return to Twitter, but instead wants to build up his own Truth Social platform.

He was banned from Twitter permanently in January 2021 because of the “risk of further incitement of violence” following the storming of the US Capitol, the company said then.

Trump is considering another run for the White in 2024.

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