About The Trial
Elon Vs Twitter
A Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled that a trial over billionaire Elon Musk's attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter will begin on Oct. 17.
Getting to trial sooner could reduce the harm that Twitter and shareholders might face as uncertainty about the deal drags on.
Twitter and billionaire Elon Musk will go to trial from Oct. 17 to 21, a Delaware Chancery Court schedule confirmed Friday, over the Tesla CEO's attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the company. The setting of the dates comes a week after Twitter partially blamed a revenue shortfall on "uncertainty" linked to Musk's rocky takeover bid.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the court's chief judge, earlier this month ruled on Twitter's request for a four-day trial in September. Musk's lawyers pushed for the trial to start on Feb. 23 or later.
Though neither Twitter nor Musk got exactly what they wanted, the shorter timeline the judge suggested is still a win for the social media company, after its lawyers raised concerns about the potential harm that comes from Musk's efforts to "bully his way" out of the deal.
In her remarks, McCormick said that the longer a merger transaction remains in limbo, the greater the risk of irreparable harm. She also noted that Musk's lawyers seem to underestimate the ability of the court to quickly process complex litigation.
The hearing was the first time Musk's and Twitter's legal teams faced off in court.
Musk lawyer Andrew Rossman said the billionaire needed more time to verify that fewer than 5% of Twitter's 229 million daily users are fake or spam accounts. Musk's legal team has argued that the data is important to understand Twitter's ads business. Rossman said Musk "has arguably more risk at stake than Twitter does if he ends up being forced to buy this company" and "doesn't have an incentive to keep this hanging for a long time."
Twitter lawyer Bill Savitt pushed back against the argument and said the company has pointed out that there are caveats to the data that note the number of spam accounts could be higher. Last week, Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the purchase and accused the billionaire of making information requests that were "designed to try to tank the deal." The company alleges in the lawsuit that the reason the billionaire wants to back out of deal is because his personal wealth has fallen, making it more expensive for him to acquire the company.
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