Musk fails to delay Twitter trial
The five-day trial will go through on October 17 after the judge ruled that Musk's attempt to delay the trial to November would be bad for Twitter's business.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has failed to delay a trial regarding terminating a $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter.
On Wednesday, a judge ruled that the case will resume on October 17 in Delaware after deciding that Musk's attempt to delay the trial to November would be bad for Twitter's business.
Twitter is suing Musk over his decision to call quits on the purchase, demanding that he complete the transaction based on the terms agreed upon previously.
Kathaleen McCormick, a judge in Delaware's court of chancery, said: “I am convinced that even four weeks’ delay would risk further harm to Twitter." She revealed that the trial would begin next month.
Nonetheless, McCormick rules that Musk's countersuit against Twitter could be expanded to include Peiter "Mudge" Zatko's allegations against the company. Zatko was a former head of security at Twitter.
Zatko accused Twitter of being “grossly negligent in several areas of information security”, also accusing Twitter of lying to Musk about bot accounts, which was one of the main reasons why Musk did not go through with the deal.
“We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in that courtroom,” said Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk.
Musk's team argued that the trial must be delayed so that the billionaire can investigate Zatko's claims, as they constitute a “company material adverse effect” that substantially altered the business’s value, invalidating the deal.
“We look forward to presenting our case in court beginning on October 17 and intend to close the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk,” said a Twitter spokesperson.
Twitter last month remarked that the statements made by its former employee were “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lack important context”.
In July, Twitter sued Musk in an attempt to coerce him to complete the deal. Twitter called his exit strategy "a model of hypocrisy."
The back-and-forth started after Musk claimed Twitter was not dealing with spam bots on the platform as it should, which was his alleged reason for abandoning the deal.
Twitter, in response, argued that spam bots make up less than 5% of the total 200 million users. Musk insisted that the number was higher, pointing his finger at Twitter for its lack of transparency about the problem.
The company then accused Musk of producing illusions about the issue to escape the deal without penalty: “The counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” Twitter wrote, according to legal documents obtained by Reuters. “Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations.”
Depending on who wins the case, either Musk or Twitter will be entitled to receiving a breakup fee if the other party is found responsible for the failed agreement.
Read next: Musk second-thoughts Twitter, then restates commitment, plunging share