Twitter on Thursday dismissed Elon Musk’s claims in a Delaware court filing that he was tricked into signing a deal to buy the social media company, saying it was “unthinkable and contrary to fact.”
Musk claimed in a countersuit he filed under the seal last Friday, which was made public on Thursday.
“According to Musk, he – the billionaire founder of several companies advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers – was duped by Twitter into signing a $44 billion merger agreement. The story is equally unimaginable and contrary to fact Hai ji ji hai hai,” said the filing released by Twitter on Thursday.
Twitter’s filing is the latest defense in what is to be a major legal showdown between the world’s richest man and the social media giant.
The San Francisco-based company is pushing to resolve months of uncertainty over its fate as Musk tries to walk away from the deal because of what he says is a misrepresentation of Twitter fake accounts.
Musk, the chief executive of electric car company Tesla, offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in April, saying he believes in its potential as a global platform for free speech.
But he turned Twitter sour as its share price surpassed his takeover bid, and began to express doubts that bots and spam accounts represent less than 5% of users.
Musk sought to return without paying a $1 billion breakup fee on July 8, citing Twitter’s failure to provide details on the bot and spam accounts. Four days later, Twitter sued him.
The company accused Musk of sabotaging the deal because it was no longer serving his interests, and casting a moment that disrupted his work and hurt shareholders.
An October 17 trial is scheduled.
Earlier this week, Twitter issued dozens of subpoenas to banks, investors and law firms backing Musk’s takeover bid, while Musk issued subpoenas to Twitter’s advisors at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan over their work.
Legal experts have said Twitter’s requests suggested the company wanted to know why Musk turned against it, or whether he shied away from his obligation to obtain substantial financing.
A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.