DETROIT (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the strongest hint yet Monday that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer made last month.
Musk told a Miami technology conference that a viable deal at a lower price would not be out of the question, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which said it viewed a livestream video of the conference posted by a Twitter user.
Also at the All In Summit, Musk estimated that at least 20 percent of Twitter’s 229 million accounts are spam bots, percentage he said was at the low end of his assessment, according to the report.
The appearance came a few hours after Musk began trolling Twitter CEO Paraj Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5percent of Twitter accounts are fake.
In all, the day’s events bolstered theories from analysts that Musk either wants out of the deal or is seeking a lower price, largely due to a huge decline in value of Tesla stock, some of which he has pledged to finance the Twitter acquisition.
Twitter shares closed Monday down just over 8 percent at $37.39, below where the stock was just before Musk disclosed that he was Twitter’s largest shareholder. Musk made the offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share on April 14.
Musk did not immediately return messages seeking comment. The All In Summit said in an email that it would post the video of Musk’s appearance in the coming days.