August 9, 2022
Twitter denies Elon Musk’s claims he was hoodwinked for signing  billion deal

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 “unimaginable and contrary to fact.”

Musk made the claim last Friday in a countersuit filed under Seal, 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 merger agreement worth $44 billion (about Rs 3,37,465 crore). The unimaginable and the opposite is actually what it seems,” said a filing released by Twitter on Thursday.

Twitter’s filing is the latest defense in what has become an increasingly acrimonious legal showdown between the world’s richest man and the social media giant.

Both sides head to trial on October 17 after Musk sought to drop his deal to acquire Twitter, which he says is a misrepresentation of fake accounts on the site.

The San Francisco-based company is trying to force Musk to follow through on the deal and accusing him of sabotaging it because it no longer serves its interests.

A representative for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the counterclaims made public on Thursday, Musk accused Twitter of stepping up efforts to hide the true number of its users as the market plunged.

“As a protracted bull market was drawing to a close, and the tide was going out, Twitter knew that Musk providing the information they wanted to parties would show that Twitter was floating naked,” Counterclaims says.

Twitter counters that Musk has not sought “a single piece of evidence” for these “fact-free” allegations.

fact free allegation

Musk also claims that “Twitter’s misrepresentation goes much deeper than simply providing false numbers” about his spam or false accounts.

While “Twitter has 238 million ‘monetizable daily active users,’ the users who actually see ads” are roughly 65 million less, Musk says in the counterclaim.

Twitter says the SEC’s disclosures about monetizable daily active users were accurate.

Musk, the chief executive of electric car company Tesla, offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 (about Rs 4,180) per share in April, saying he believed 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 percent of users.

Musk on July 8 sought to back down without paying a $1 billion (about Rs 162 crore) breakup fee, citing Twitter’s failure to provide details on the bot and spam accounts. Four days later, Twitter sued him.

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 advisers 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.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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