Elon Musk Countersues Twitter As Drama Continues Over $44 Billion Buyout Deal

Elon Musk countersued Twitter on Friday — drawing out lengthy legal battles about his wavering acquisition of the social media platform.

The confidential 164-page filing was submitted to the Delaware Court of Chancery and claimed the Tesla CEO wasn’t contractually obligated to complete the $44 billion buyout deal he signed in April, according to AFP. The lawsuit was not immediately available to the public, but a transparent version with sensitive corporate data and information redacted may be available in the future.

Musk announced in April plans to buy Twitter with an offer of $54.20 per share, but in July he said he was “terminating” the agreement. Musk accused the social media company of withholding data regarding the number of fake bot accounts allegedly on the platform.

Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk to complete the agreed-upon acquisition was filed in mid-July and began with a claim that “Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests.”

Elon Musk announced in April plans to buy Twitter with an offer of $54.20 per share, but in July he said he was terminating the agreement.

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

Twitter’s suit against the billionaire claimed: “Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”

A judge in Delaware, where Twitter is incorporated, has since ordered a five-day trial on the matter to commence on Oct. 17. Twitter, which has urged its shareholders to support Musk’s buyout offer, will vote on the merger on Sept. 13.

“We are committed to closing the merger on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk,” said Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and board chairman Bret Taylor in a copy of a letter to investors Tuesday.

Musk was given at least 49 tebibytes of internal data serving as a real-time record of more than 500 million daily tweets since June 19. Musk also said he might launch a competing service if the buyout failed.

“This is one of the biggest worries that target companies have: That a buyer walks away with detailed knowledge of their ‘secret sauce’ and then uses it to compete with or otherwise undermine them,” Columbia Law School professor Eric Talley told HuffPost.

While Twitter lawyer William Savitt called Musk a “committed enemy,” Musk might emerge triumphant — or lose with the whole world watching.

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