Twitter says Musk makes excuses to break deal

(Files) In this file photo taken February 10, 2022, Elon Musk speaks during a press conference at the SpaceX Starbase facility near the village of Boca Chica in southern Texas. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO (United States) (AFP) – Elon Musk’s idea was “tricked” into a $44 billion buyout deal that defies rationale and facts, Twitter said Thursday.

In a filing, Twitter dismissed counter-claims made by Musk as he struggled to get away from the deal he signed in April to buy the San Francisco-based company.

“According to Musk, Twitter – the billionaire founder of several companies, advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers – was duped into signing a $44 billion merger agreement,” Twitter said.

“This story is as unbelievable as it sounds.”

Musk last week filed a counterclaim along with a legal defense against Twitter’s claim that the billionaire is contractually obligated to complete the acquisition.

“Counterclaims are a litigation prepared tale that contradicts evidence and common sense,” Twitter argued in the lawsuit.

A five-day trial to hear Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk has been scheduled for October 17.

The Tesla chief took over Twitter’s board with an offer of $54.20 per share, but then announced in July that he was terminating their agreement because the company had misled him about counting fake accounts and spam.

Twitter, which closed at $41.06 on Thursday, stuck to its estimate that less than 5 percent of activity on the platform is due to “bots” rather than people.

Twitter told the court that Musk’s claim that the false account number exceeded 10 percent was “untenable.”

The company also disputed Musk’s assertion that he had the right to walk away from the deal if the number of bots on Twitter turned out to be wrong because he didn’t ask anything about the bots when he made the bid.

The filing said: “Musque has forsaken his due diligence – giving Twitter twenty-four hours to accept a ‘take it or leave it’ offer – before submitting it directly to Twitter contributors.”

The company accused Musk of making up a story to escape a merger agreement he no longer finds attractive.

“Twitter has complied in all respects with the merger agreement,” the company said in the lawsuit filed with Chancery Court in Delaware.

Musk’s counter-claims, which are based on distortion, misinformation and outright deception, change nothing.

The social media platform urged shareholders to approve the deal, setting a vote on the merger on September 13.

“We are committed to closing the merger process on the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” Parag Agrawal, Twitter CEO and Chairman Brett Taylor, said in a letter to investors.

Billions of dollars are at risk, but the future of Twitter, Musk said, should allow any legal speech – an authoritarian stance that has raised concerns that the network could be used to incite violence.

© AFP

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