Elon Musk tries to block Twitter’s quick trial
No surprise in Twitter showdown as Elon Musk files a petition in US court to oppose platform’s request to speed up the process
The showdown between Elon Musk and Twitter continues, with the former seeking to block the platform’s request for a quick trial.
According to Reuters, Elon Musk filed a motion Friday against Twitter’s request to speed up a process over his decision to end the $44 billion deal for the social media company.
Twitter had repeatedly warned Elon Musk that it would enforce the deal he signed, insisting that his justifications for Twitter’s material violations of the deal were “false and misleading statements.”
Reuters reported that Musk’s lawyers argued in papers filed with the Delaware Chancery Court that Twitter’s “unwarranted request” to take the merger case to trial within two months should be dismissed.
Twitter had sued Elon Musk last week and requested the social media platform to start the trial in September as the merger agreement with Musk expires on October 25.
“Twitter’s sudden request for warp speed after two months of dragging and obfuscation is the latest tactic to cover up the truth about spam accounts long enough to persuade suspects to shut down,” Musk’s file reads.
Musk’s lawyers have argued that the dispute over fake and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value and is extremely fact- and expert-intensive.
Twitter has defended its spam policy multiple times, saying it was suspending more than 1 million spam accounts a day — more than when CEO Parag Agrawal said in May the spam account suspension was running at 500,000 a day.
Twitter reportedly has a specialized team and automated processes dedicated to deleting fake accounts, and last month it started giving Musk access to the colossal fire hose of public tweet data.
Twitter had said in April of this year that less than 5 percent of Twitter users are spam or fake accounts.
However, Musk believes the actual number of fake or bot accounts is closer to 20 percent or more.
Musk’s legal team told the court they needed significant time for discovery and requested a trial date on or after February 13, 2023.
The debt financing package that banks have pledged for the Musk acquisition will expire in April 2023, Reuters reported.
That means if the trial started in February and didn’t end in April, the deal could fail.
Twitter declined to comment on Musk’s latest motion.