elon musk twitter letter

Elon Musk’s lawyer sent a letter addressed to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella accusing the company of misusing Twitter API. The billionaire threatened to sue Microsoft last month also and has now followed up with the letter.

The letter was written by Alex Spiro, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and said that until last month Microsoft used eight different Twitter APIs to provide data and functionality to at least five Microsoft products.

It said that Microsoft used Twitter APIs for free in key “products that generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue for Microsoft annually” – while declining “to pay even a discounted rate for continued access to Twitter’s APIs and content.”

Notably, charging for APIs was among the changes that Musk made since he bought Twitter. He later toned down the stance and said APIs would continue to be free for public announcement accounts.

Meanwhile, Spiro said that “our recent review of Microsoft’s activity on the Microsoft Apps indicates that Microsoft may have been in violation of multiple provisions of the Agreement for an extended period of time.”

Citing an example, the letter alleged that while the agreement entails rate limits, Microsoft accessed Twitter APIs over 780 million times in 2022 – retrieving over 26 billion tweets.

Musk Accuses Microsoft of Misusing Twitter APIs

Twitter also alleged that “Microsoft also appears to have used the Twitter API for unauthorized uses and purposes.”

It has sought data for the last two years related to the Microsoft Apps in question – reminding the company that the agreement requires “full cooperation and assistance” for the “compliance audit” – and gave it time until June 7 to respond.

Notably, relations between Musk and Microsoft haven’t been good for quite some time now.

In February Musk criticized OpenAI – the company he co-founded in 2015 – and said that it is now “a maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.”

Microsoft has committed billions of dollars to ChatGPT’s parent company OpenAI.

Earlier this month, Musk reiterated his views and said that while Microsoft might not directly control OpenAI, it has “a very strong say” in the company – a claim refuted by Nadella who said that Microsoft has a “non-controlling stake” in OpenAI.

The relationship soured further after Microsoft said that it would drop Twitter from its ad platform effective April 25.

Microsoft To Respond to The Letter

Elon Musk said that he plans to launch his chatbot named TruthGPT even as he termed OpenAI’s ChatGPT as “untruthful.”

AI is the new battlefield between tech companies as they try to capitalize on the euphoria among customers as well as investors.

Coming back to the letter sent by Musk, Microsoft told CNBC, “Today we heard from a law firm representing Twitter with some questions about our previous use of the free Twitter API” – adding it would “respond appropriately.”

Microsoft also said, “We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the company.”

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