Twitter and Elon Musk are preparing for an October showdown trial in an attempt to force the tycoon into a $44 billion takeover deal | Science and technology news
Elon Musk’s offer to delay Twitter’s lawsuit against him until 2023 was rejected by a US judge, who granted the social media giant an expedited trial.
The richest man in the world said he was get out of a deal this month to buy the tech company for $44bn (£36.6bn) and the company is suing him to force him to fulfill his earlier promise in April to acquire it.
A judge in Delaware has now scheduled a trial for this October, citing the “cloud of uncertainty” over the social platform.
Twitter pushed for a September hearing of the court case as the ongoing dispute is hurting its business.
but muskBecause of the complexity of the case, the team had tried to delay it until early next year.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the chief justice of the Delaware Court of Chancery, said: “A delay threatens irreparable damage. The longer the delay, the greater the risk.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO had agreed to pay $54.20 a share for Twitter, but told the company in July he wanted out of the deal.
“It’s an attempt at sabotage. He’s doing his best to shut down Twitter,” said William Savitt, an attorney for the social media company.
The tycoon claims the company didn’t give him enough information about the number of fake – spam bot – Twitter accounts.
And he says it has breached its commitments by firing top executives and laying off a significant number of workers.
Musk’s team expects more information about the bot numbers to come out in court investigations when both sides have to present evidence.
“Musk is trying to wriggle out of business”
Twitter argues that Musk is trying to pull out because he agreed to pay 38% above Twitter’s share price just before the stock market fell.
And shares in electric-car maker Tesla, where most of his personal wealth resides, lost more than $100 billion in value.
“He’s looking to wriggle out of the deal he signed,” Mr Savitt said.
But Musk’s attorney, Andrew Rossman, says it’s “absurd” to suggest that the Tesla boss is trying to damage Twitter.
He said the businessman had “no interest in harming the company.”