Former Disney CEO Bob Iger just handed Tesla CEO Elon Musk a huge gift in his ongoing battle with Twitter over the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Iger said he ended Disney’s attempt to buy Twitter in 2016 after a probe into the number of fake accounts on the platform.
According to Iger, Disney’s investigations into Twitter discovered that “a substantial portion” of accounts on the platform “were not real.”
He revealed that, in part, Disney pulled out after discovering how many accounts on Twitter were not real.
Iger recalled Disney’s attempt to buy Twitter during an appearance this week at the Code Conference, in response to a question from The Verge’s Alex Heath.
He said: “We, at that point, estimated with some of Twitter’s help that a substantial portion, not a majority, were not real.
“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.
“After we sold the whole concept to the Disney board and the Twitter board, and we’re really ready to execute — the negotiation was just about done — I went home, contemplated it for a weekend, and thought, ‘I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it.’
“Yes, it’s a great solution from a distribution perspective.
“But it would come with so many other challenges and complexities that, as a manager of a great global brand, I was not prepared to take on a major distraction and having to manage circumstances that weren’t even close to anything that we had faced before.
“We’re in the business of manufacturing fun at Disney — of doing nothing but good, even though there are others today that criticize Disney for the opposite, which is wrong.
“This was just something that we were not ready to take on and I was not ready to take on as the CEO of a company, and I thought it would have been irresponsible.
“We were intent on going into the streaming business,” he explained.
“We needed a technology solution.
“We have all this great IP.
“We weren’t a technology company.
“How do we get that IP to consumers around the world?
“And we were kicking tires left and right. We thought about developing ourselves.
“Five years, $500 million.
“It wasn’t the money, it was the time, because the world was changing fast.
“And at the same time, we heard that Twitter was contemplating a sale.
“We enter the process immediately, looking at Twitter as the solution: a global distribution platform.
“It was viewed as sort of a social network.
“We were viewing it as something completely different.
“We could put news, sports, entertainment, and reach the world.
“And frankly, it would have been a phenomenal solution, distribution-wise,” he said.
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company found that “a substantial portion” of Twitter’s users were “not real”, when Disney considered buying Twitter in 2016 (@pkafka / Vox)https://t.co/tviPGXzzt2https://t.co/yVQjipuv9H
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