Lawyers for both Twitter and Musk agreed to a five-day trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, where Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk earlier this month after he informed the company that he was backing out of his very public acquisition of the company.
According to NBC News, Musk’s lawyers previously sought a Feb. 2023 start date so that Musk’s team could thoroughly investigate his claims regarding the number of fake and spam accounts on Twitter; Twitter’s “false and misleading representations” about the fake accounts are cited as the reason Musk terminated the merger agreement.
However, Twitter’s lawyers pushed for a sooner trial, with the Delaware Court of Chancery judge electing to begin proceedings in roughly three months’ time.
During this week’s hearing on the matter, lawyers for Twitter argued that Musk’s withdrawal from the deal was not due to alleged bot accounts but because of the Tesla CEO’s own personal wealth amid the recent stock market downturn: When Musk entered his bid for Twitter, he offered $54 per share; the stock dropped to as low as $32 before rebounding recently, with shares at $42 at press time Friday.
Twitter’s lawsuit stated, “But when the market declined, and the fixed-price deal became less attractive, Musk shifted his narrative, suddenly demanding ‘verification’ that spam was not a serious problem on Twitter’s platform and claiming a burning need to conduct ‘diligence’ he had expressly forsworn.”
While Twitter is taking Musk to court in order to enforce the acquisition and “compel consummation of the merger,” the reported $1 billion breakup fee Musk agreed to pay if he pulled out of the deal is also still at stake.