Tech billionaire Elon Musk filed a 164-page countersuit against Twitter at the Delaware Court of Chancery on Friday. The lawsuit was placed under seal for what legal experts opine may be due to sensitive information contained in the countersuit, but Judge Kathaleen McCormick may likely ask both Musk and Twitter to submit a redacted version of their lawsuits, which may be released to the public.
In signing the countersuit, Musk said that “I have reviewed the counterclaims and declare that the matter contained therein insofar as it concerns my acts and deeds is true, and insofar as it relates to the acts and deeds of any other person, I believe it to be true.”
In April, Musk offered to buy Twitter shares at $54.20 per share and take over the social media platform for $44 billion. Several weeks later, the Tesla and SpaceX boss accused Twitter of furnishing him with incomplete data regarding fake and spam accounts, and on July 8, he threatened he would abandon the deal and walk. Twitter sued and said Musk must close the deal without raking up distractions about supposed fake accounts.
“We are committed to closing the merger on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk,” Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal and board chairman Bret Taylor said in a copy of a letter to investors.
Twitter’s lawyers requested for an expedited trial, but Musk’s lawyers requested to have a trial begin in February next year, saying they need more time to investigate more fake accounts with Twitter. Ultimately, Judge McCormick agreed to a five-day trial beginning on October 17 instead of a two-week trial commencing in February 2023.
“The longer the merger transaction remains in limbo, the larger the cloud of uncertainty cast over the company,” McCormick said when granting Twitter’s expedited trial request.
Although Musk had offered to purchase the social media company’s shares at $54.20 each, Twitter’s stocks dropped to $41.50 after the market closed on Friday. Legal analysts speculate the court may either ask Musk to acquire Twitter at a lower price or reach a settlement deal that will compensate Twitter if everything else fails.
An investor with 5,500 Twitter shares, Luigi Crispo, also filed a lawsuit against Musk in which he asked that the billionaire must close the takeover deal. He accused Musk of causing significant reputational damage and fiduciary losses to Twitter.