Twitter sued Elon Musk on Tuesday, arguing the tech billionaire is legally certain to perform his $44bn acquisition of the social network, after the Tesla CEO said last week he desired to walk away from the deal.
Twitter argued leaving the deal now’s “invalid and wrongful” under the terms of an April contract, in line with a letter sent to Mr Musk’s lawyers.
The corporate tore into Mr Musk in a legal grievance filed in Delaware Court, writing that the billionaire “apparently believes that he —unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to vary his mind, trash the corporate, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”
Mr Musk, meanwhile, has claimed Twitter failed to offer him crucial information he sought in regards to the presence of faux accounts and spam bots on the platform, entitling him to back off the buyout plan.
“Twitter has failed or refused to offer this information. Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that look like unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information,” Mr Musk’s attorney said in a letter last week to the Twitter board.
The entrepreneur has also said Twitter broke its agreement by firing a pair of top managers and shedding a big a part of its talent-acquisition team.
The suit, filed in Chancery Court in Delaware, could mark the start of an prolonged legal battle between the social network and the entrepreneur. A clause in the acquisition agreement for Twitter allows the corporate to sue Mr Musk to force the deal through if certain conditions are met.
Mr Musk appeared to laugh off the lawsuit.
“Oh the irony lol,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The Independent has contacted Mr Musk’s attorneys for comment.
If the suit goes forward, each parties will engage in an in depth factual discovery process before proceeding to trial.
Before a verdict is reached within the case, the 2 parties could renegotiate their deal, settle the lawsuit, or walk away from the acquisition with Mr Musk paying a $1bn “breakup fee.” The Tesla and SpaceX founder could also countersue.
Twitter has asked for an expedited trial in September, ahead of the acquisition deal’s planned 24 October final closing date.
When contacted for comment on its next step, the corporate pointed to an announcement from chairman Bret Taylor, who wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that “Twitter has filed a lawsuit within the Delaware Court of Chancery to carry Elon Musk accountable to his contractual obligations.”
The lawsuit is the newest flare-up in a rocky acquisition bid, which Twitter initially resisted.
In April, Mr Musk responded to a Twitter post calling a top Twitter lawyer the corporate’s “top censorship advocate,” adding that it was “incredibly inappropriate” when the social network took steps in 2020 to limit the spread of stories stories based on then-unconfirmed materials purportedly from the laptop of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son.
Since Mr Musk’s acquisition deal took shape, Twitter’s stock has fallen by greater than a 3rd from his offered purchase price, and top employees have reportedly been dismayed to the purpose of tears about what the corporate could appear to be going forward.