The tech billionaire’s legal team alleged in a July 15 filing (pdf) in a Delaware court that Twitter is engaged in an “unjustifiable request to rush” the trial. A ruling that’s unfavorable to Musk could legally require him to execute his pledge to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, or about 36 percent above current market value.
“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 lawyers wrote in the filing, opposing Twitter’s motion for an expedited four-day trial in September.
Lawyers representing Musk said that the question of bots or automated accounts on Twitter is “fundamental” to the case and that more time is needed for discovery.
Musk’s defense rests on the premise that the number of automated accounts, or bots, on Twitter is far greater than the 5 percent that the company has disclosed, representing a “material adverse effect” that justifies his backing out of the deal.
While Musk’s team wants the trial postponed to February at the earliest, Twitter has based its request for a speedier trial on the fact that the buyout agreement Musk signed with the company’s board expires on Oct. 24.
But Musk’s lawyers reject that reasoning, arguing in their filing that Twitter’s bid for “extreme expedition rests on the false premise” that the termination date is Oct. 24, “glossing over that this date is automatically stayed if either party files litigation.”
By filing its complaint, Twitter “has rendered its supposed need for a September trial moot,” they said.
A Twitter spokesperson told The Epoch Times that the company has no comment about the filing.
By Tom Ozimek