Disney’s former chief has said the company did not purchase Twitter back in 2016 because a “substantial portion” of its users “were not real”.
Speaking at Vox Media’s Code Conference, Bob Iger explained that the media giant had debated snapping up the social media firm, but decided against it.
“We did look very carefully at all of the Twitter users — I guess they’re called users? — and we at that point estimated with some of Twitter’s help that a substantial portion — not a majority — were not real,” Iger said.
“I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily. But that was built into our economics. Actually, the deal that we had was pretty cheap,” he added.
The Tesla founder acknowledged the former Disney boss’ comments, and tweeted: “Interesting”.
The news comes as Elon Musk continues his legal showdown with Twitter over his $44bn takeover u-turn.
Musk has suggested that as many as a third of Twitter’s users could be bots, misleading his team when the $54.20-per-share deal was first agreed in April.
The trial date is currently set for October, which Musk’s lawyers have said is not “remotely achievable” because of unreasonable delays in information exchange.
His attorneys cite Twitter’s former head of security Peiter Zatko’s whistleblowing claims as a reason for postponement.
In his complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zatko accuses Twitter of deceiving shareholders and violating the agreement it made with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to uphold security standards.
Speaking at a hearing in Delaware on Tuesday, Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro said: “Doesn’t justice demand a few weeks to look into this?”
Twitter and Disney were not immediately available for comment.