Technology · August 5, 2022

Twitter is blowing up Elon Musk’s claims in a $44 billion takeover deal lawsuit

The ongoing war between Elon Musk and Twitter continues to heat up, with the social media giant blasting the notion that it has included him in the $44 billion (AUD$63.7 billion) buyout deal “put in”.

In a filing, Twitter dismissed counterclaims from Musk as he fought to walk away from the deal signed in April to buy the San Francisco-based company.

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

“This story is as unbelievable and contrary to fact as it sounds.”

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

“The counterclaims are a story made for litigation that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” Twitter argued in the filing.

The Tesla founder will face Twitter during a five-day trial in October.

Should Twitter be successful in its court case, Musk could be forced to complete the original sale or pay a hefty “exit fee.”

Musk courted Twitter’s board of directors with an offer of $54.20 per share, but then announced in July that he was terminating their agreement because the company misled him about its list of fake and spam accounts would have.

Twitter, whose share price closed at $41.06 on Thursday, is sticking to its estimates that less than 5 percent of activity on the platform is due to software “bots” rather than people.

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

The company also disputed Musk’s claim that he had the right to back out of the deal if Twitter’s bot count was found to be incorrect, since he didn’t ask about bots in his takeover bid.

“Musk waived all due diligence and gave Twitter 24 hours to accept his take-it-or-leave-it offer before pitching it directly to Twitter shareholders,” the filing reads.

The company accused Musk of fabricating a story to escape a merger agreement it no longer found attractive.

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

“Musk’s counterclaims, based on distortion, misrepresentation and blatant deception, change nothing.”

The social media platform has urged shareholders to approve the deal and has scheduled a vote on the merger for September 13.

“We are committed to completing the merger at the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CEO Bret Taylor said in a letter to investors.

Billions of dollars are at stake, as is the future of Twitter, which Musk says should allow any legal speech — an absolutist position that has raised fears the network could be used to incite violence.

Originally posted as Twitter blasted Elon Musk’s claims that he was “tricked” into a $64 billion deal