Twitter agrees to supply data to Elon Musk to help push $44 billion deal through

Twitter and Elon Musk
"My guess: he'll now demand something even more outrageous." Photo credit: Getty Images

Bombastic billionaire Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has taken a new twist with the social media platform agreeing to supply its 'firehose' of data to its prospective new owner.

The Washington Post has reported that the massive stream of data, which includes more than 500 million tweets each day, will be supplied to Musk to end the standoff over his purchase bid.

The Tesla CEO  has threatened to pull the plug on his US$44 billion deal to buy the platform, citing his disbelief at the company's estimation of the number of fake users and bots.

The move by Twitter to supply the data has been hailed on social media, with some commentators calling it a brilliant bit of "call my bluff".

"Twitter calls Elon Musk's bluff… Twitter's giving him access to the FULL Twitter firehose to inspect," wrote industry analyst Matt Navarra.

"That firehose contains 500m tweets per day! Good luck with the analysis, Elon."

Techdirt writer and editor Mike Masnick said the move was "going to be interesting".

"Twitter is doing this to basically call Musk's bluff, and take away his reason for bailing," he tweeted.

"My guess: he'll now demand something even more outrageous."

Others pointed out that Musk's decision to forego due diligence on the deal may well come back to haunt him.

The agreement he signed with Twitter requires Musk to pay a US$1 billion fee if he breaks the contract. However, he believes he can walk away if he can show the company misled him.

It's widely believed that with Musk's deal negatively impacting both Tesla and Twitter's share price, the move could be a way for him to renegotiate a lower price.

According to a person familiar with the company, who spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity, the data could be provided as early as this week.

The newspaper reported that around two dozen companies currently pay for access to the data that Musk had demanded, which also includes information about the accounts that tweet and the devices 

"Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement," the company said in a statement earlier this week.

"We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms."