Elon Musk responds to Twitter’s $44 billion lawsuit

Elon Musk accused Twitter on Friday of deceiving him about his service, obfuscating the facts and notifying him of executive changes, in his first official response to the company’s lawsuit to force it to complete a $44 billion acquisition of the social media service.

lawyers mr. Musk, who sealed the mega deal to buy Twitter in April but has since tried to wind down the purchase, made arguments in a legal filing aimed at opposing the company’s request for a four-day trial in September in the case.

Twitter rushes to court after a “treasure hunt of two months of delays, technical bottlenecks, elusive answers, and ultimately, rejection,” Mr. Musk’s lawyers said in the filing. They added that Twitter was trying to “hide the truth” about fake accounts on the service, a problem Mr. said. Musk made his desire to withdraw from the deal central.

Twitter requested a trial in September because Mr. Musk was due to complete his deal to buy the company by October. 24- Mr. Musk’s lawyers have suggested a February date for a trial instead, noting that the deal deadline is automatically extended in the event of litigation. The banks that committed to help finance the deal have promised this funding until April 25, 2023.

the master. Musk’s legal submission was a strong rebuke to Twitter’s accusations that he was trying to end the acquisition unfairly. In its lawsuit filed this week, Twitter said Mr. Musk had “knowingly, intentionally, willfully and materially violated” his agreement to buy the company by falsely claiming that he was not obtaining information about the spread of fake accounts on the service.

The legal battle that followed promises to be ugly and protracted. Disagreements between the two sides have already escalated for weeks before they reach court. the master. Musk made prickly comments about the company and frequently questioned the prevalence of fake accounts on the platform. Fake accounts are used to spread spam or manipulate the Twitter service by falsely promoting trends, and are often automated rather than powered by real people.

At some point, said Mr. Musk tweeted that the deal with Twitter was on hold. His actions coincided with a drop in the value of tech stocks, including those of Tesla, the electric car maker Mr. Musk leads and this is the main source of his wealth.

Twitter confirmed that it has worked with Mr. Musk to close the deal and is intent on completing the sale. In the deal agreement, Twitter and Mr. Musk has a so-called specific performance clause that allows the company to sue to force the deal, as long as the debt the billionaire held for the takeover exists.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

It was clear why Twitter moved so quickly and Mr. Musk was not.

“The Twitter board has every interest in getting this resolved quickly, and has every interest in delaying – time is money,” she said. the master. “He’s going to want to get as much discovery and take as long as possible, essentially suspend the risk of litigation itself, and over time the uncertainty associated with it kind of force compromise or backtracking,” Musk added.

In the legal filing, Mr. Musk’s lawyers repeated many of the arguments they made this month when the billionaire said he intended to terminate the deal.

Twitter did not do an accurate count of the fake accounts and obstructed Mr. The log file said that Musk’s efforts to understand how to write spam. “Musk was amazed to see how small Twitter was,” the filing said, noting that the company used people to learn the information rather than machine learning.

the master. The file added that Musk tried to obtain more data from Twitter about the fake accounts, but that the company “deliberately erected artificial roadblocks and thwarted the efforts of the defendants.”

To determine how Twitter accounts for fake accounts, Mr. His lawyers said Musk needed months of discovery and dozens of deposits. the master. Musk asserted that Twitter’s public disclosures that fake accounts represented about 5 percent of active users were misleading. Incorrect numbers may be a “material adverse effect” under the terms of the transaction and allow the master. His lawyers said Musk is staying away, arguing that the numbers “directly carry the potential value of Twitter to users and advertisers.”

Twitter has made mistakes with its user numbers before, mister. Musk’s lawyers said. In April, the company said it had surpassed the number of its active users from 2019 to 2021.

The company said in its lawsuit that it informed Mr. Musk’s lawyers about the executives and that the lawyers “have not raised any objections.”

Twitter and Mr. Musk is due to hold a hearing on the case Tuesday at Chancery Court in Delaware, where the company has filed a lawsuit against the billionaire. Court Counsel Catalin St. McCormick, to oversee the case, and will decide whether the case should be expedited, as Twitter requested, or delayed for Mr. musk.

If the lawsuit goes to trial, Judge McCormick will determine whether Mr. Musk should close the deal. She can also allow Mr. Musk walks away while forcing him to pay compensation. Through numerous readings of the Twitter contract with Mr. Musk, damages will be set at $1 billion. The two sides may also settle or renegotiate the deal.

Twitter has lost about a third of its value since Mr. Musk signed the deal to buy the company for $54.20 a share. The company is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings on Friday.

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