Musk’s response to Twitter lawsuit to be made public on Friday

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DOVER, Del. — Elon Musk’s response to Twitter’s lawsuit over his bid to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company will be made public no later than Friday night, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Musk’s attorneys wanted to file a public version of their response and counterclaims with the Delaware District Court on Wednesday. But Twitter attorneys complained that they needed more time to review and possibly edit Musk’s sealed application, saying it refers “extensively” to internal Twitter information and data provided to Musk.

Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick held a brief conference call on Wednesday before agreeing with Twitter, instructing the public filing to be registered at 5 p.m. Friday. It may be submitted sooner, depending on when Twitter attorneys complete their assessment.

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Twitter attorneys argued that court rules require five business days to elapse before a public version of Musk’s application is registered.

“Few cases attract as much public interest as this one, and Twitter is aware of this court’s commitment to ensure maximum public access to its proceedings,” wrote Twitter attorney Kevin Shannon. “Twitter has no interest in proposing more redactions of the defendants’ responsive pleadings than necessary.”

Musk attorney Edward Micheletti argued that Twitter’s lawyers misinterpreted court rules. Musk’s attorneys also say there is no confidential information in Musk’s filing that should be withheld from the public.

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“Twitter should not continue to bury the side of the story that doesn’t want to make it public,” Micheletti wrote.

Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and keep it private, offering $54.20 a share and promising to relax the company’s control over content and eradicate fake accounts.

Twitter shares closed at $41 on Wednesday, far from a 52-week high of $69.81.

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

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Musk says Twitter hasn’t given him enough information about the number of fake accounts on his service. Twitter argues that Musk, CEO of electric car maker and solar company Tesla Inc., is deliberately trying to stop the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.

Either Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion termination fee if the other party is found responsible for the failure of the agreement. However, Twitter wants more, demanding a court order of “specific performance” instructing Musk to honor the deal.

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