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Elon Musk loses court battle against Twitter, as judge sets date for major trial

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Tesla chief Elon Musk will face a court showdown with Twitter in October after losing a bid to delay the social media firm’s lawsuit against him.

Twitter is attempting to force the billionaire to make good on his April promise to purchase the corporate for $44bn (£37bn) and wanted the billionaire to be tried in court on the earliest possible date.

He wanted the date pushed back to February 2023.

“It became clear Musk was never going to take yes for a solution,” said Bill Savitt from Wachtell, representing Twitter. “Twitter can manage this and can manage this, but the corporate is faced with a considerable increase in risk … quite by Mr Musk’s design.”

Twitter filed to sue Musk last week, arguing the tech billionaire is legally sure to perform his $44bn acquisition of the social network, after the Tesla chief executive said he desired to walk away from the deal – claiming that the variety of bots on the platforms was misrepresented to him.

“The problem on this case isn’t – and it might’t be – what number of false accounts there could also be on Twitter,” Mr Savitt said. “The agreement doesn’t even mention spam or bots or false accounts. It could have, nevertheless it doesn’t.”

Mr Musk declined to do due diligence before making a proposal for the corporate.

“We candidly suspect that Musk desires to keep Twitter under massive pressure to wear Twitter down, run out the clock or increase his leverage”, Mr Savitt concluded.

Andy Rossman of Quinn Emanuel, presenting for Elon Musk, said that “billions of actions on the platform have to be analysed”, doubling down on Mr Musk’s claims about bots and spam on the platform.

Mr Rossman also claimed that Twitter gave Mr Musk “obfuscation” and “delays”, adding that Twitter provided “a non-working replica of the hearth hose that was made tougher to make use of”.

Within the criticism to the court, Twitter entered Mr Musk’s tweets into the documents – perhaps most notably, one where he replied to Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal’s explanation of bots on the platform with the poop emoji. But Mr Musk’s lawyer claimed that Twitter “didn’t claim that Musk’s tweets, which they now say are a breach of the merger agreement, were a breach, until after we issued a termination letter”.

An element of the deal included stipulations that Mr Musk wouldn’t disparage Twitter or its representatives. Twitter refused to verify to The Independent on quite a few occasions its understanding of the definition of that phrase.

“The thought … that Mr Musk is trying to wreck the corporate or effectively is damaging the corporate by sending out tweets, is preposterous. He has no real interest in damaging the corporate. He has a far larger economic stake than your entire Twitter board,” Mr Rossman said.

He also claimed that more time is required for Mr Musk’s team to properly analyse the information, saying that he had proposed a more “reasonable” schedule, since the case “dwarfs” others on account of the quantity of knowledge needed to be checked out.

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