Elon Musk on Twitter, via PAElon Musk on Twitter, via PA


Judge says Musk-Twitter $44bn takeover row should go to trial in October

  • Elon Musk had wanted to delay trial to 2023, citing complexity of case
  • Judge rubbishes his claim
  • Twitter calls Musk’s actions ‘attempted sabotage’
  • Musk’s lawyer refutes allegation, saying Tesla CEO is Twitter’s second-largest shareholder

Time 9:08 am, July 20, 2022

Elon Musk has lost his fight to delay Twitter’s lawsuit against him after a judge set the trial for October.

Kathaleen St Jude McCormick, the head judge of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, cited the ‘cloud of uncertainty’ over the social media company after the Tesla boss backed out of a deal to buy it.

‘Delay threatens irreparable harm. The longer the delay, the greater the risk,’ she said.

Twitter had wanted an expedited trial in September, but Musk’s team wanted to wait until early next year because of the complexity of the case.

However, McCormick said Musk’s team underestimated the ability of the court in Delaware – where Twitter is incorporated – to ‘quickly process complex litigation’.

The trial will last five days, starting on a date in October yet to be set.

Twitter is trying to force Musk to make good on his April promise to buy the social media giant for $44bn (circa £36.5bn).

It wants it to happen quickly because it says the ongoing dispute is harming its business.

Musk – the world’s richest man – had pledged to pay $54.20 a share for Twitter but now wants to back out of the agreement.

Attorney William Savitt, representing Twitter, said: ‘It’s attempted sabotage. He’s doing his best to run Twitter down.’

But Musk claims it has failed to provide adequate information about the number of fake – or ‘spam bot’ – Twitter accounts, and that it has breached its obligations under the deal by firing top managers and laying off a significant number of employees.

Savitt questioned Musk’s request for a delayed trial, asking ‘whether the real plan is to run out the clock’.

He added: ‘He’s banking on wriggling out of the deal he signed.’

But Musk’s attorney, Andrew Rossman, said the idea that Musk was trying to damage Twitter was ‘preposterous. He has no interest in damaging the company’, adding that Musk was Twitter’s second-largest shareholder with a far larger stake than the entire board.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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