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Lawsuits & Litigation

Elon Musk Responds to Twitter Lawsuit, Demands More Time to Prepare for Trial

— July 15, 2022

Twitter recently followed through on threats to sue the Tesla C.E.O., who has tried to back out of his promise to purchase the social media platform.

Elon Musk has responded to Twitter’s lawsuit attempting to force the Tesla C.E.O. to acquire the social media platform, telling the Delaware Court of Chancery that Twitter’s request to kick-start a trial in September would constitute an unreasonable and “unjustifiable” timeframe.

As has reported before, Twitter took legal action after Musk publicly stated that he had lost interest in following through on his $44 billion purchase of the social media company.

According to ABC News, Twitter is seeking an expedited trial date in September, since the merger agreement was scheduled to be fulfilled by October.

Alex Spiro, an attorney for Elon Musk, said that Twitter’s reference to an October deadline is inherently flawed and misrepresents the conditions of the acquisition.

“Twitter’s bid for extreme expedition rests on the false premise that the Termination Date in the merger agreement is October 24, glossing over that this date is automatically stayed if either party files litigation. By filing its complaint, Plaintiff has rendered its supposed need for a September trial moot,” Spiro wrote in a Friday filing.

The Delaware Court of Chancery will still determine whether Musk remains obliged to purchase Twitter.

Musk says that Twitter has effectively violated the terms of the acquisition by refusing to disclose information about the number of “bot” and spam accounts active on the website.

Elon Musk, grinning and at ease, wearing a dark suit and a plaid shirt with an unbuttoned collar.
Elon Musk in 2008. Photo by JD Lasica, via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

“Twitter’s sudden request for warp speed after two months of foot-dragging and obfuscation is its latest tactic to shroud the truth about spam accounts long enough to railroad Defendants into closing,” Musk’s attorneys wrote.

While Twitter maintains that only 5% of active accounts could be considered spam accounts or bots, but Musk said the figure seems unbelievable.

“Post-signing, Defendants promptly sought to understand Twitter’s process for identifying false or spam accounts. In a May 6 meeting with Twitter executives, Musk was flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was,” Musk’s filing said.

However, Twitter’s lawsuit references Musk’s own social media posts, many of which indicate that he knew or should have known that Twitter has problems with commercial spam bots.

Irrespective of Musk’s intent to back out of the deal, Twitter says that Musk’s current actions are consistent with his past misconduct. Musk had, for instance, attempted to acquire massive amounts of Twitter stock without first seeking the required regulatory approval.

“It tracks the disdain he has shown for the company that one would have expected Musk, as its would-be steward, to protect,” Twitter wrote.


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