Twitter shares dropped on Monday, July 11, after Elon Musk declared he was terminating a $44 billion (£36 billion) bid to purchase the social media site. Musk withdrew after alleging that Twitter had not provided sufficient details regarding the quantity of spam and fake accounts that were present on the platform. The businessman had requested proof to support the company’s claim that less than 5 percent of its users are spam and bot accounts. As Monday’s trading ended, Twitter’s share price was roughly $32.64; this is a further decrease from the takeover price of $54.20 per share agreed upon by Musk and Twitter’s board in April. It is the first opportunity for investors to respond to Musk’s revelation that he intended to back out of the agreement on Friday, July 8. The original merger agreement calls for a $1 billion (£830 million) break-up fee, but Twitter wants the businessman to complete the deal rather than pay the cost. Twitter has retained a premier US law firm and wants to file a lawsuit to force the purchase through.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced ambitions to purchase Twitter in April, but the deal was shelved a month later over concerns about the prevalence of fake accounts on the platform. Musk stated when the contract was first reached that he sought to improve the website by “defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans”. Twitter has long struggled with artificial “bots” that continuously post inaccurate or malicious content. Furthermore, Musk has advocated for greater transparency in the system, which allows select tweets to be promoted and sent to larger audiences on the site.