Musk response to Twitter lawsuit to be made public by Friday

4 August 2022, 09:04

Elon Musk
Technology summit in Dublin. Picture: PA

Either Elon Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a one billion dollar break-up fee if the other party is found responsible for the agreement failing.

Elon Musk’s answer to Twitter’s lawsuit over his attempt to back out of a 44 billion dollar (£36 billion) deal to buy the social media company will be made public by Friday evening at the latest, a judge has ruled.

Lawyers for Mr Musk wanted to file a public version of their answer and counterclaims in Delaware court on Wednesday.

But Twitter lawyers complained that they needed more time to review and potentially redact Mr Musk’s sealed filing, saying it refers “extensively” to internal Twitter information and data given to Mr Musk.

Chancellor Kathaleen St Jude McCormick held a quick teleconference on Wednesday before agreeing with Twitter, directing that the public filing be docketed by 5pm on Friday.

It could be filed earlier depending on when Twitter lawyers complete their review.

Twitter lawyers argued that court rules require that five business days lapse before a public version of Mr Musk’s filing is docketed.

“Few cases attract as much public interest as this one, and Twitter is mindful of this court’s commitment to ensuring maximum public access to its proceedings,” Twitter lawyer Kevin Shannon wrote.

“Twitter has no interest in proposing any more redactions to defendants’ responsive pleading than are necessary.”

Musk lawyer Edward Micheletti argued that Twitter’s lawyers were misinterpreting the court rules.

Musk lawyers also say there is no confidential information in Mr Musk’s filing that should be withheld from the public.

“Twitter should not be permitted to continue burying the side of the story it does not want publicly disclosed,” Mr Micheletti wrote.

Mr Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering 54.20 dollars a share and vowing to loosen the company’s policing of content and to root out fake accounts.

Twitter shares closed on Wednesday at 41 dollars, well off a 52-week high of 69.81 dollars.

Mr Musk indicated in July that he wanted to back away from the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to hold him to the “seller-friendly” agreement.

Mr Musk says Twitter has failed to provide him enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service.

Twitter argues that Mr Musk, chief executive of electric car maker and solar energy company Tesla, is deliberately trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.

Either Mr Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a one billion dollar break-up fee if the other party is found responsible for the agreement failing.

Twitter wants more, however, and is seeking a court order of “specific performance” directing Mr Musk to follow through with the deal.

By Press Association

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