Jamie Dimon says Musk should ‘clean up Twitter’, echoes bot concerns

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, November 23, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Jamie Dimon appears to be a fan of Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition.

“I hope Musk cleans up Twitter,” Mr JPMorgan The CEO told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum, adding that he thinks Musk should consider eliminating anonymous accounts from the site.

The remarks are the first in which Dimon has spoken specifically about the Musk-Twitter deal, which was revived last week after a new offer from the CEO of Tesla to buy the social networking platform for the $54.20 per share they initially agreed to in April.

In a CNBC interview at the JPM Techstars conference in London that aired Tuesday, Dimon echoed Musk’s concerns about the number of spam accounts on Twitter and said the company should give users more control over its recommendation algorithms.

Watch CNBC's full interview with JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon on the recession, market turmoil, Twitter and more

“Why can’t Twitter know who you are when you get on board so it can weed out all those people in the public square who are bots and emails and stuff?” Damon said.

“Why can’t they give you a choice of algorithms? As opposed to one that just excites you,” he added.

Musk has made no secret of his concerns with fake Twitter accounts. In an April statement announcing his intention to buy the company, Musk talked about “defeating the spam bot and authenticating all real people.” He said he also wants to make Twitter’s ranking algorithm open source and promote free speech on the platform.

“Elon is very smart”

Dimon’s comments range with some behind-the-scenes conflict between the two corporate leaders.

In November 2021, JPMorgan sued Tesla for $162.2 million for allegedly breaching a 2014 contract regarding stock warrants Tesla sold to the bank.

The lawsuit centered on a dispute over how the bank revalued warrants after Musk’s infamous 2018 tweet.

Jamie Dimon: Technology is always changing the world

The suit was the subject of a Wall Street Journal report that said Musk and Dimon never got along. According to the Journal, the pair’s efforts to patch things up were unsuccessful, and JPMorgan has long since distanced itself from Tesla and Musk.

On Monday, however, Dimon praised Musk. “In my opinion, Elon is very smart,” he said.

“They’re big boys”

JPMorgan was notably absent from the roster of banks lined up for $13 billion in debt financing for Musk’s purchase of Twitter, with Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Barclays among the lenders who agreed to pool the funds.

However, deteriorating credit markets have led to concerns about how Musk’s funding will be raised. Banks could be in line for losses of $500 million or more if they sell the debt now, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“They’re big boys, they can deal with it,” Dimon said when asked about the funding concerns.

Twitter and Musk have been in endless discussions about whether to move forward with the deal. Musk is concerned that the company is not doing enough to address the manipulation of the platform by bots. Twitter says it has been honest with Musk in disclosing how many of its users are genuine.

In April, Musk and Twitter agreed to buy the social media company from the Tesla CEO for $54.20 per share. In July, Musk tried to back out of the deal, citing red flags surrounding the company’s handling of bots. Twitter then sued Musk in an attempt to force him to complete the deal.

Twitter and Musk were set to go to trial on Oct. 17 in Delaware to resolve the billionaire’s attempt to cancel the acquisition unless they first reach a settlement. Musk wanted Twitter to drop the lawsuit against him to finalize the deal. However, Twitter refused to oblige.

Musk won a small reprieve on Thursday, with a Delaware court judge ruling that he now has until Oct. 28 to close the deal if he wants to avoid a lawsuit.

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