Elon Musk v. Twitter Trial: Battle of Online Evermore Set for October

The five-day trial will begin this fall in Delaware with Twitter claiming it has nothing at all to do with those pesky spambots

The trial of Elon Musk v. Twitter, in which the world’s largest social media network will try to force the world’s richest man to buy it, will commence in October. Chief Judge Kathaleen McCormick will preside over the five-day proceedings at Delaware Chancery Court, where Twitter is suing Musk for backing out of his $44 billion acquisition offer.

The ruling is a little victory for Twitter, which had asked for an expedited four-day trial in September, while Musk wanted a February date, Deadline reports. Judge McCormick agreed with the company that a delay would harm Twitter’s business, while attorneys for the SpaceX CEO argued that a trial in the fall was too soon.

“In my view, the defendants underestimate the ability of the court,” she said after a hearing.

Although Musk has complained publicly and repeatedly that he believes Twitter was trying to sidestep questions about what percentage of its users are actually spambots, the platform claims the lawsuit is not about bots at all.

“Nothing in the negotiation leading to the deal or the merger itself are in any way contingent on bots or false or spam accounts. The issue is a litigating position designed to obfuscate or delay,” Twitter attorney William Savitt said at the hearing.

Last week, Musk trolled Twitter for threatening to take him to court over the busted deal, posting a meme of himself laughing next to the words, “They said I couldn’t buy Twitter. Then they wouldn’t disclose bot info. Now they want to force me to buy Twitter in court. Now they have to disclose bot info in court.”

Musk filed papers July 8 to officially end his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, with Musk’s side claiming that Twitter was in “material breach” of the agreement and had made “false and misleading” statements during negotiations.

In a statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Team Musk wrote, “For nearly two months, Mr. Musk has sought the data and information necessary to ‘make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform.’” But, they claim, “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information.”

In June, Musk claimed that Twitter was avoiding the spambot issue, and threatened to bust up the purchase.

Eventually, whichever party is found responsible for ruining the deal will have to cough up a $1 billion penalty fee.

Musk began his courtship of his favorite social media platform back with his April 13 takeover bid, following his acquisition of 9.1 percent of Twitter’s stock. He offered the platform $44 billion at $54.20 a share, which was not the first time he made a 420 joke in an SEC filing.

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