Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been approached by an unnamed network and two unnamed cable channels to broadcast his proposed debate against Twitter chairman Parag Agrawal, after Musk dropped his bid to buy Twitter, sources tell DailyMail.com.
Musk tweeted on Agrawal on Saturday, challenging him to a public debate “about the Twitter bot rate.” Musk wrote in a now-deleted tweet that he wants Agrawal to “prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam users!"
He also tweeted a Twitter poll just after the original tweet, asking users to vote on whether “Less than 5% of daily Twitter users are fake/spam.” On Saturday evening, 66.6% had voted no and 33.5% had voted yes.
The South African billionaire was indicted by Twitter in July after he pulled out of the $44 billion deal, claiming the social media company never disclosed to him how many of their accounts were fake bot accounts.
Musk was sued by Twitter in July after he pulled out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter after he said the company misrepresented the number of spambot accounts operating on the website.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has yet to communicate with Musk publicly, but Dailymail.com can confirm Musk has been approached to broadcast a debate against Agrawal
Musk sent out two tweets on Saturday that seemingly prompt Twitter chairman Parag Agrawal to engage in a debate with him. Dailymail.com can reveal two cable channels and one network has approached him to broadcast the debate
Elon Musk tweeted a photo of himself with one of his sons in early August, captioned “Thanksgiving last year after watching one too many episodes of Vikings”
The battle began after Musk signed an agreement on April 25 to buy Twitter for $52.20 a share — but Tesla’s CEO dropped the deal on July 8, blaming the company for violating the deal. by misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on his platform.
Silicon Valley’s elite targeted by Twitter’s latest subpoenas
Chamath Palihapitiya: A prominent venture capitalist with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. His connection to the deal is unclear, but he attended the All-In Summit in May with other Musk backers.
David Zakken: Sacks is a member of the so-called PayPal mafia that helped set up the payment startup with Musk in the late 1990s. He would be a key advisor in Musk’s inner circle when the takeover bid unfolded this spring.
Steve Jurvetson: Another Musk member reported “brain trust” advising the billionaire. Jurvetson was an early investor in Tesla, where Musk is CEO. He once served on the board of Tesla and currently serves on the board of Musk’s SpaceX.
Marc Andreessen: A Silicon Valley titan with an estimated $1.6 billion worth and co-founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, who agreed to invest $400 million in Musk’s acquisition deal.
Jason Calacanis: Also previously reported as involved in financing the deal. Launched an investment pool known as a dedicated vehicle to raise money from smaller investors with a minimum buy-in of $250,000
Keith Rabois: Another early PayPal executive besides Musk. His connection to the Twitter deal is unclear.
Joe Lonsdale: A partner at 8VC, a San Francisco-based VC firm. “I have nothing to do with this other than a few sarcastic comments,” he said of Musk’s Twitter takeover.
Twitter then sued Musk, claiming the false account allegations were a distraction. The agreement signed reportedly required Musk to close the deal at the agreed price.
The lawsuit, filed in July, will appear in Delaware on October 17.
Musk went against the company on July 29, reaffirming his belief that the company was pushing its numbers through spam bots. The 164-page document was not released publicly.
The lawsuit by Musk was filed hours after Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery ordered the five-day trial that began in October to determine whether Musk can walk away from the deal.
Musk’s submission indicates that he believes spambots accounted for 33% of visible accounts on the platform and about 10% of daily active users of Twitter, or mDAU, in the first week of July.
Musk also asked Twitter advisers Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase for data on how the banks advised the social media platform on the $44 billion deal.
In addition to Musk’s accusations of Twitter’s “false and misleading representations” of the number of fake accounts, lawyers also point to recent layoffs of Twitter employees and hiring freezes, which they say violate the company’s obligation to continue to operate normally.
But Twitter has also requested information from Musk’s adviser, Morgan Stanley.
More subpoenas for the companies Tesla and SpaceX have also been asked to pass information about the deal, along with conversational exchanges with their boss, according to Bloomberg.
Bret Taylor, the chairman of Twitter, tweeted that the board was “committed to closing the transaction” under the current terms of the deal and that they were “confident” that they would win.
In May, crypto exchange Binance invested $500 million in the Tesla CEO’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Twitter. Twitter has further subpoenaed Binance to learn more about the investment, the report said.
Twitter has also requested information about investors Chamath Palihapitiya, David Sacks, Steve Jurvetson, Marc Andreessen, Jason Calacanis and Keith Rabois, among others.
Investor Joe Lonsdale, a Musk employee, said he received a subpoena from the social media company. He called the subpoena a “huge intimidating fishing expedition.”
Investor Joe Lonsdale announced on Twitter that he had received a subpoena from the platform. He said he was not involved in the deal other than making “a few snarky comments” and called the legal investigation a “huge intimidating fishing expedition.”
Those in the subpoenas may be called to testify in court.
Analysts said Twitter is likely trying to find evidence that Musk made private statements that contradicted his public position that the company’s problems with fake accounts made the acquisition untenable.
For example, if Musk hypothetically downplayed the bot issue when he sought financial backing for the deal, or revealed to confidants that he had other reasons to abolish the acquisition, it could bolster Twitter’s case.