Twitter Makes Legal Power-Move To Force Elon Musk To Accept Sale

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Twitter is running with court action against Elon Musk after the antagonistic billionaire sought to essentially cancel his purchase of the company, to which Musk and Twitter previously agreed.

In arguments filed in court as Twitter seeks to compel Musk to complete the acquisition deal, the company shredded key arguments Musk made in an attempt to excuse his sudden disinterest in moving forward. One particularly notable point is that a tool used on Musk’s side to examine the number of supposed bots on the platform once identified Musk’s own account as a likely bot — which helps make the farcical and fundamentally unserious nature of what Musk is doing pretty clear. “Twitter filed a response to Mr. Musk’s counterclaims,” Bret Taylor, the chairman of the board at Twitter, said Wednesday. “His claims are factually inaccurate, legally insufficient, and commercially irrelevant. We look forward to the trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery.” That trial, following Twitter’s original lawsuit alongside current and future claims from Musk, is scheduled for October.

Twitter connected Musk’s changing stance towards the acquisition deal to shifts in the stock market, where substantial fluctuations in the share prices for Twitter and Tesla, where Musk is CEO, recently unfolded. “Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests,” Twitter asserted in its original lawsuit. Twitter recently sent out subpoenas to banks, financial partners, and associates tied to Musk in an effort to gain more information about the deal to acquire Twitter. The issue with bots is a key area of supposed concern for Musk; if Twitter carries a higher number of bot accounts than the company admits, then that could basically devalue its advertising, which is a key source of revenue for Twitter since using the platform is free. Musk’s side alleges that Twitter engaged in purposeful deception.

Besides the bot complaints, the billionaire’s team also alleged Twitter misrepresented the number of its users who actually see advertisements on the platform. If that’s on the comparatively lower side, it could also devalue the platform’s services. Referring to claims Musk lodged in response to its initial lawsuit seeking the acquisition’s completion, Twitter said in its follow-up response: “The Counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense.” Twitter also added the following summary: “Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations. Yet Musk simultaneously and incoherently asserts that Twitter breached the merger agreement by stonewalling his information requests.”

Trump, who’s trying to see the success of his own social media platform, reveled in lashing out at Musk as his deal to acquire Twitter faltered. With a photo of the two of them together in the Oval Office, Trump said: “When Elon Musk came to the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects, whether it’s electric cars that don’t drive long enough, driverless cars that crash, or rocketships to nowhere, without which subsidies he’d be worthless, and telling me how he was a big Trump fan and Republican, I could have said, “drop to your knees and beg,” and he would have done it… Now Elon should focus on getting himself out of the Twitter mess because he could owe $44 billion for something that’s perhaps worthless. Also, lots of competition for electric cars!”