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Friday, October 7, 2022

After receiving complaints from a whistleblower, Elon Musk wants the trial against Twitter to be postponed

According to court filings, Elon Musk is seeking to delay until November a trial over his intention to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc. and amend his complaint against the social media company. This comes after a whistleblower provided him with fresh ammunition in his lawsuit against the social media company.

The court papers were made after Mr. Musk’s attorney wrote a new letter to Twitter earlier in the day to add a whistleblower complaint as another cause to terminate the agreement.

The CEO of Tesla Inc. issued his first termination letter to Twitter in July, accusing the social media network of misled him over the amount of fraudulent accounts that are on its platform.

Now, he claims that the difficulties extend beyond the fake accounts, and involve data security and other concerns revealed by the whistleblower, which has created a new battle front with Twitter.

In a complaint that was submitted to U. S. authorities last week, the former head of security for Twitter, Peiter Zatko, said that the company fraudulently claimed it had a robust security strategy and put the expansion of its user base ahead of efforts to reduce spam.

Both Mr. Musk and Twitter have filed lawsuits against one other in the state court of Delaware, and the first day of the trial, which will last for five days, is set for October 17.

On Tuesday, Mr. Musk requested the court to provide both parties more time to finish presenting their arguments until November 10, after which there would be a meeting to review the kind of evidence that may be presented at trial. According to Mr. Musk, the trial may start later that month “subject to the court’s availability.”

In the Delaware Chancery Court, the request to modify his lawsuit was submitted while the court was under seal.

Twitter is requesting that the court force Mr. Musk to complete the transaction at the price of $54.20 per share. Mr. Musk responded to Twitter’s lawsuit by accusing the company of fraud.

Instead of drastically changing a case that corporate law specialists have concluded is in Twitter’s favour, legal experts said the whistleblower complaint injected ambiguity to Mr. Musk’s confrontation with Twitter.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Twitter filed a move with the court requesting that Musk’s request for an extra pre-2022 document be denied. Twitter referred to Musk’s application as a “manoeuvre to disrupt the trial timeline.”

David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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