Elon Musk has filed a motion challenging the demands of Twitter to speed up their legal battle over his intention to cancel his $44 billion deal.
Mr. Musk’s lawyers filed papers with the Delaware Chancery Court, stating that the court reject Twitter’s “unjustifiable request to rush this.”
This is the first public response to the social-media company’s lawsuit filed earlier this week attempting to enforce the terms of their merger agreement.
Musk’s lawyers said: “The core dispute over false and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value.
“It is also extremely fact and expert intensive, requiring substantial time for discovery.”
The social media platform points out the risks posed by the recent economic crisis as well as being held in an uncertain situation by the buyer.
It requested a trial by mid-September “to protect Twitter and its stockholders from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement.”
Musk claims the firm failed to produce the relevant data and statistics to verify the prevalence of fake or spam accounts.
He justified his move as this was “in material breach of multiple provisions” of the merger agreement.
The firm has denied that claim, arguing that Musk has violated the rules, including breaching a nondisclosure agreement and gloating about it on Twitter.
Musk has been critical of Twitter in a continuous stream of posts over the last few months.
In multiple letters made public through securities filings, his attorneys have voiced specific issues.
The motion on Friday, 15 July, also presents new claims about Twitter’s level of cooperation on the subject.
Mr. Musk’s team said he was “flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was,” and highlighted the lack of automated tools to help with the calculation.
Musk has long contested Twitter’s long-held estimate that less than five percent of its monetizable daily active users are spam or false accounts.
The firm claimed the Tesla CEO’s attempt to abandon the deal reflects deteriorating market conditions.
That in turn led to his personal fortune falling by more than $100 billion since its peak in November 2021.
The company stated it had gone out of its way to meet Musk’s data request, including providing him with access to its so-called “fire hose” of near real-time tweets as well as historical tweets.
Musk’s team said dealing with Twitter had been “a two-month treasure hunt of delays, technical bottlenecks, evasive answers, and, ultimately, refusals.”
Twitter has stated that its method for calculating fake and spam accounts involves multiple human reviews of thousands of accounts sampled at random over time.
It also relies on private user data, including IP addresses and phone numbers, that it does not publicly reveal and hasn’t shared with Musk.
Musk’s team also disputed other aspects of the Twitter lawsuit, including the firm’s claim that the billionaire disparaged the business he was intending to purchase.
The filing states: “With the sense of humor of a bot, Twitter claims that Musk is damaging the company with tweets like a Chuck Norris meme and a poop emoji.”
“Twitter ignores that Musk is its second-largest shareholder with a far greater economic stake than the entire Twitter board.”
Source: The Washington Post