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, on November 23, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Jamie Dimon seems to be a fan of Elon Musk’s 44 billion dollars Twitter take over.

“I hope Musk cleans up on Twitter,” the JPMorgan The CEO told CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum, adding that he believes Musk should look into removing anonymous accounts from the site.

The remarks are Dimon’s first to specifically address the Musk-Twitter deal, which was revived last week after a new bid from Tesla CEO to buy the social media platform at the $54.20 a share price they originally agreed upon back 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, saying 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 come on board so they can eliminate all the people in the public square who are bots and emails and stuff?” Dimon said.

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

Musk has made no secret of his concerns with fake accounts on Twitter. In an April statement announcing his intention to buy the company, Musk talked about “defeating the spambot 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 are filled with some behind-the-scenes clashes between the two company executives.

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 repriced warrants after Musk’s infamous 2018 take-private tweet.

Jamie Dimon: Technology is always changing the world

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

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

‘They are big boys’

JPMorgan was notably absent from the list of banks lined up to provide $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 raise the funds.

However, a deterioration in credit markets has led to concerns about how Musk’s financing will hold together. According to Bloomberg calculations, banks could be heading for losses of $500 million or more if they continue to sell the debt now.

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

Twitter and Musk have been in an endless back-and-forth over whether to go through with the deal. Musk is concerned that the company is not doing enough to tackle manipulation of the platform via bots. Twitter says it has been honest with Musk in disclosing how many of its users are authentic.

In April, Musk and Twitter agreed to have the social media company acquired by Tesla’s CEO for $54.20 per share. In July, Musk tried to pull out of the deal, citing red flags about the company’s handling of bots. Twitter afterwards Musk sued in an attempt to force him to complete the deal.

Twitter and Musk were due to go to court on Oct. 17 in Delaware to resolve the billionaire’s attempt to void the purchase unless they first reached a settlement. Musk wanted Twitter to drop its lawsuit against him to finalize the deal. However, Twitter refused to commit.

Musk won a small reprieve on Thursday, when a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled that he now has until Oct. 28 to close the deal if he wants to avoid a lawsuit.

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