Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is trying to walk away from his deal to acquire Twitter Inc, is seeking documents from ad tech companies as part of his quest to learn more about bot accounts and spam on Twitter, according to documents filed in a Delaware court. Thursday.
Twitter has sued the CEO of Tesla, who has accused Twitter of hiding information about how it calculates the percentage of bots on the service, in an attempt to distance itself from the $44 billion settlement. The trial is scheduled for October 17.
Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed both Integral Ad Science (IAS) and DoubleVerify for any documents or communications about their involvement in reviewing accounts or participating in any audit of Twitter’s user base.
New York-based IAS and DoubleVerify use technology to independently verify that real people are seeing digital ads. Advertisers use the Services to ensure that potential customers see the ads they pay for and not automated bots.
Twitter, IAS and DoubleVerify did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In response to a tweet from a user who questioned how Twitter audits its service and also related to a Reuters story about Musk targeting ad companies, Musk tweeted: “These are the questions Twitter is doing its best to avoid answering…”.
In a lawsuit earlier this month, Musk claimed that Twitter’s monetizable daily active users are 65 million lower than the company has announced. Twitter has said it stands by its disclosures.
The metric measures users who sign in to Twitter through the website or apps that may serve ads or use paid products such as subscriptions, according to Twitter documents.
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