“Unjustifiable” – Musk Lawyers Move To Delay “Warp Speed” Twitter Trial
Three days after Twitter sued Elon Musk to force him to buy the company, the world’s richest man has responded with a request to delay the “meritless” and “breakneck speed” case until next year.
Twitter asked the court to expedite the proceedings, requesting a trial by mid-September, citing risks from the recent economic downturn and being held in limbo by a buyer: “to protect Twitter and its stockholders from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement.”
Today, in a 14-page filing, WSJ reports that Musk’s lawyers called Twitter’s request an unjustifiable “bid for extreme expedition.”
Musk is requesting a Feb. 13, 2023, trial at the earliest, noting Twitter’s request is “an extremely rapid schedule for a case of this enormous magnitude.”
In Friday’s filing, Mr. Musk’s lawyers said:
“The core dispute over false and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value. It is also extremely fact and expert intensive, requiring substantial time for discovery.”
Mr. Musk’s lawyers argued that “it is unnecessary to resolve these weighty considerations on a breakneck schedule” and asked for a trial date on or after Feb. 13 of next year, adding that the debt financing was valid until April 25, 2023.
Twitter was rushing to court after “a two-month treasure hunt of delays, technical bottlenecks, evasive answers, and, ultimately, refusals,” Mr. Musk’s lawyers said in the filing.
They added that Twitter was trying to “shroud the truth” over fake accounts on the service, an issue that Mr. Musk has made central to his desire to pull out of the deal.
NYTimes reports that, in the legal filing, Mr. Musk’s lawyers reiterated many of the same arguments they had made earlier this month when the billionaire said he intended to terminate the deal. Twitter did not conduct a rigorous count of fake accounts and stymied Mr. Musk’s efforts to understand how spam was tallied, the filing said.
“In a May 6 meeting with Twitter executives, Musk was flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was,” Musk’s lawyers wrote.
“Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users) and applied unidentified standards to somehow conclude every quarter for nearly three years that fewer than 5% of Twitter users were false or spam. That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.”
Mr. Musk’s side also took issue with other elements of the Twitter suit, including the company’s assertion that the billionaire had disparaged the business he was planning to buy.
“With the sense of humor of a bot, Twitter claims that Musk is damaging the company with tweets like a Chuck Norris meme and a poop emoji. Twitter ignores that Musk is its second largest shareholder with a far greater economic stake than the entire Twitter board,” the filing states.
The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington), and we suspect, given the already boisterous rhetoric, that this is going to be a long and protected legal battle.
A judge will hear arguments on Tuesday at 11am for Twitter’s request for a September trial.
Fri, 07/15/2022 – 18:13