Elon Musk

Elon Musk won't be buying Twitter after all. As reported by Bloomberg's Ed Ludlow, Musk is terminating his agreement to purchase the social media giant based on a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].

Twitter was formally notified that the $44 billion deal, which would have taken the social media private amid a host of other changes, was being terminated on Friday. This follows months of speculation that Musk had gotten cold feet over the deal as he repeatedly complained about what he said was Twitter's refusal to disclose all of its data on spam bots.

Earlier this week, Musk's Twitter buyout was reportedly in "serious jeopardy" as negotiations dragged on. Now it has been cancelled entirely.

In response to the deal's cancellation, Twitter is suing Musk. Shortly after the news, Twitter chairman Bret Taylor wrote, "The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery."

Musk first offered to repurchase Twitter in April, prompting the company's board of directors to adopt a "poison pill" plan to try and block the deal. Twitter subsequently reversed course and agreed to the $44 billion buyouts, which Musk called his "best and final" offer.

In adding Twitter to holdings that include SpaceX and Tesla, Musk said that he would be rolling back moderation policies while unbanning controversial figures like former President Donald Trump. He also vowed to address Twitter's persistent problem with spam bots and fake accounts.

After the deal was accepted, Musk continuously sparred with Twitter, claiming breach of contract over what he claimed was its unwillingness to divulge the actual number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter, for its part, moved steadily ahead with the deal, with the board unanimously recommending that shareholders vote in favour of the agreement. It also began laying off employees in preparation for the completion of the merger.

Elon Musk has not yet responded to the deal termination.

The fallout from the deal is apt to be significant, though the consequences remain unclear for now. One way or another, Twitter will stay public.