As Twitter Doubles Down on Its “Less Than 5% Bot Count” Claim, Betting Markets and the Yawning Deal Spread Urge Caution

Jul 7, 2022 16:26 EDT
This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. WCCF TECH INC has a disclosure and ethics policy.

Will Elon Musk actually end up buying Twitter? Fortunes could be made and lost depending on the outcome of this seemingly innocuous question. And the markets are paying attention, salivating at each morsel of tidbit. After all, the world’s richest person has a unique knack for imbuing theatrical flamboyance to even the banalest of elements. So, why should the fate of the global town square be any different?

As most of our readers would know, the biggest stumbling block that Elon Musk had identified – or manufactured, say the skeptics – to the finalization of his Twitter takeover deal was the quantum of bots or fake accounts that populated the social media giant’s Daily Active Users (DAUs) metric.

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Well, today, Twitter doubled down on its previous position on this issue. At a dedicated briefing, Twitter executives proclaimed that the company removes around 1 million spam accounts each day and that less than 5 percent of the active accounts on Twitter are bots or spam accounts.

Of course, Elon Musk has repeatedly questioned the veracity of this claim. Moreover, the Israeli tech company Cyabra recently concluded that 13.7 percent of Twitter profiles are fake accounts.

In order to resolve this issue, Twitter has given Musk access to its "firehose" – a massive stream of internal data that consists of over 500 million tweets that are posted each day. However, it remains as yet unclear whether Musk has accepted the veracity of Twitter’s bot-related claims.

Meanwhile, the betting markets continue to take a dim view of Musk’s ability or willingness to consummate the Twitter takeover deal.

Source: https://www.betus.com.pa/sportsbook/novelty/lines/twitter/elon-musk/

For instance, as indicated in the snippet above, BetUS is currently awarding a 60 percent probability that Elon Musk will not be able to consummate his Twitter takeover deal by the 31st of December 2022. On the other hand, the betting market is awarding a 47.6 percent probability that the deal will attain closure before the end of this year.

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Of course, BetUS is just one cog in the wider betting universe. Nonetheless, it does give an inkling as to the prevailing sentiment.

Even more troubling, the deal spread between Musk’s offer price for Twitter of $54.20 per share and the current stock price remains as wide as ever. To wit, Twitter shares are currently trading at $38.95, corresponding to a discount of around 28 percent relative to Musk’s offer price. Such a huge spread indicates the market’s reluctance to lock the deal on current terms. After all, many Wall Street analysts continue to assert that Musk’s original offer price is likely to be renegotiated lower despite the fact that the social media giant’s board has already approved the original deal.

Do you think Musk will be able to close his takeover deal before the end of this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Update: Musk's Twitter Deal is Reportedly in Jeopardy

Washington Post is now reporting that Musk's Twitter takeover deal is in jeopardy amid widespread skepticism around Twitter's claims that bots constitute less than 5 percent of its active accounts.

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