- FTX Sam Bankman-Fried was interested in teaming up with Elon Musk to buy Twitter.
- The crypto billionaire reportedly said he would be willing to put up $8-15 billion for the company.
- Musk doesn’t like how Twitter works and thinks 90% of its comments come from bots.
Elon Musk’s lawsuit against the social media site show that crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried has wanted to buy Twitter “for a while.”
Insider reported on Thursday that William MacAskill, who is part of the SBF-funded FTX Future Fund, tried to set up a meeting between the FTX CEO and Musk back in March to see if the two could buy Twitter in a “joint effort.”
Kate Conger, a reporter for the New York Times, later put the text message evidence online, which backs up what Insider said.
MacAskill, a self-described “altruist” and philosophy professor at Oxford University, reportedly said that Sam Bankman-Fried was willing to put up $8-15 billion to buy Twitter. However, Morgan Stanley’s Head of Global Technology Investment Banking Michael Grimes later told Musk that Bankman-Fried would only be willing to put up $5 billion for a joint deal to share the Web2 company.
Grimes is not related to Musk’s ex-girlfriend, the singer Grimes, but he is said to have praised Bankman-Fried to Musk, calling him an “ultra genius and doer builder.”
Now, the ultimate crypto-tech billionaire team-up isn’t likely to happen because Musk doesn’t like how Twitter works.
Musk said that the deal with Twitter couldn’t go through because he thinks that 90% of Twitter comments come from spam accounts or bots. Musk’s team also raised questions about how many of Twitter’s 238 million reported daily active users are real people and not just automated accounts.
In a July filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the CEO’s lawyers said that Twitter “made false and misleading representations” and “is in material breach of multiple provisions” of their agreement (SEC).
Musk pulled out of the $44 billion deal in July, so Twitter sued him.
In a July filing, Twitter said Musk was not allowed to “destroy the company, mess up its operations, destroy stockholder value, and then just walk away.” It also said that more people were leaving their jobs since the deal got out.
But in an August filing, Musk’s team pointed to a report from Twitter’s former head of security, Pieter Zatko, who said that half of Twitter’s employees have access to “sensitive systems,” which is a security risk.
Zatko’s report also said that Twitter does not own or license its “core code.” This means that the code’s owners could “shut down much of Twitter’s business through an injunction” or “demand substantial damages” at any time.