Elon Musk has cast further doubt over his $44bn (£35bn) takeover of Twitter after stating the deal “cannot move forward” until the social media company proves that less than 5% of its users are fake or spam accounts.
The Tesla chief executive used his Twitter account to say the agreed deal would not progress until the firm showed proof that only a small proportion of its users were fake.
Twitter has defended its figures, adding that Mr Musk waived rights to "due diligence" to clinch the deal.
The spat has raised doubts about the takeover.
Analysts have speculated that Mr Musk may be looking for ways to renegotiate the price of the deal or walk away.
Musk polled his nearly 94 million followers on whether Twitter’s figure was accurate, as he searched for proof for his claim that he was misled.
Despite speculation by some users on Twitter that Musk is running afoul of Securities and Exchange Commission rules by tweeting about the deal, securities experts said he was within his rights to raise the bot question publicly.