Twitter has dismissed Elon Musk’s allegations in court that he had legitimate reasons to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform, marking the latest development in a dramatic legal clash.
In a filing made public on Thursday, Twitter called Musk’s arguments for canceling the deal “a story conceived in an attempt to escape a merger deal that Musk no longer found attractive as the stock market, and with it his vast personal wealth, declined.” . in value”.
Twitter sued Musk last month to force him to close the deal, and the company’s filing on Thursday comes in response to Musk’s own counter-lawsuit, which he filed under seal last week and will be made public on Friday.
The current standoff started after Musk claimed Twitter was unaware of the spam bot problem on the platform, citing it as his reason for canceling the deal. The social media company claimed that spam accounts accounted for less than 5% of more than 200 million users, but Musk insisted the number was higher, accusing Twitter of withholding information about the issue. Twitter, meanwhile, accuses Musk of “raising” the issue in order to escape the deal without penalty.
“The counter-claims are a story made for a lawsuit and contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” said Twitter’s response, according to legal documents obtained by Reuters. Musk makes up statements Twitter never made and then selectively tries to use the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to invoke a breach of those alleged statements.
At the same time, the response states, Musk also accused Twitter of violating their agreement by “blocking” his information requests. Twitter denies this, saying information was provided upon request.
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 given to Musk.
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. But Musk said in July that he wanted to get out of the deal, sparking the current legal drama.
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.
Reuters contributed to reporting