Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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    Elon Musk seeks data from Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify in Twitter bot battle

    Unpredictable billionaire Elon Musk has opened a new legal route to extricating himself from a $44bn commitment to purchase Twitter by appealing to the advertising technology sector to hand over information about the prevalence of bot and spam accounts.

    Both Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify have been summoned to submit any documents and communications they may hold on the issue as third parties responsible for independently verifying that digital ads are viewed by real people.

    The SpaceX mastermind is seeking documents to support his assertion that Twitter concealed data around how it calculates the percentage of non-human accounts, the reason given for his decision to pull out of the deal.

    The formal request was revealed in documents filed with a Delaware court ahead of the trial itself on October 17, when both Twitter and Musk will set out their respective cases.

    A giant question mark over Twitter’s future has seen advertisers hold back campaigns – a major problem for a service that draws around 90% of overall revenue from the sector. 

    The Drum pulled together a detailed timeline of all the twists and turns in Musk’s Twitter play; from the first public offer on April 14 to the decision to walk away on July 8.

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