Twitter calls bluff on Musk's reasons for backing out of merger
Twitter rejects the billionaire's claims in court that he had valid reasons to back out of a $44 billion deal to purchase the platform.
In the latest development in Elon Musk's Twitter drama saga, the social media giant has rejected the billionaire's claims in court that he had valid reasons to back out of a $44 billion deal to purchase the platform.
Twitter, in a filing made public on Thursday, called Musk's reasons for abandoning the deal “a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market and along with it, his massive personal wealth, declined in value”.
Last month, Twitter sued Musk in an attempt to coerce him to complete the deal. Twitter's Thursday filing comes in response to Musk's counter lawsuit, which the billionaire filed under seal last week and will be made public on Friday. Twitter called his exit strategy "a model of hypocrisy" in July.
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.”
The Twitter response also mentioned Musk accusing the company of "stonewalling" his information requests, constituting a breach of their agreement, which it denied by stating that information was provided upon request.
In April, Musk agreed to buy Twitter, offering $54.20 a share. He promised to loosen the company's policing of content and eliminate fake accounts. In July, he decided to back out of the deal, igniting a Twitter-Musk drama.
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.