Elon Musk files motion to stop Twitter’s ‘warp speed’ trial push after $44bn deal collapses

 (TED Conferences, LLC/AFP via Get)
(TED Conferences, LLC/AFP via Get)

Elon Musk has filed a motion to stop Twitter’s request to expedite a trial over his plan to terminate a $44billion (£37bn) takeover deal.

The Tesla boss’s lawyers filed papers with the Delaware Chancery Court, arguing the social media giant’s request to rush the merger case to trial in two months was “unjustifiable”.

“Twitter’s sudden request for warp speed after two months of foot-dragging and obfuscation is its latest tactic to shroud the truth about spam accounts long enough to railroad defendants into closing,” they said in a court filing.

The social media firm asked the court to fast-track the proceedings due to the uncertainty looming over its business amid the recent economic downturn.

Musk wants to walk away from the billion-dollar deal after alleging Twitter has a “spam bot” problem.

Twitter sued the world’s richest man on Tuesday for violating the deal, asking the court to order him to complete the merger at the agreed price of $54.20 per share.

In its legal complaint, Twitter ripped into Musk writing that the billionaire “apparently believes that he - unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law - is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”

It requested a hearing by mid-September to protect Twitter and its stockholders “from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

The merger agreement with Mr Musk terminates on October 25.

Musk’s lawyers have requested a trial date on or after February 13 next year, accusing the company of withholding information over false and spam accounts which the Tesla chief claims is fundamental to Twitter’s value.

Social media expert and industry commentator Matt Navarra said Twitter’s legal action “gives a brutally blunt blow-by-blow account of Elon Musk’s corporate takeover theatrics”.

It contains a reference to a number of tweets about the deal from Musk, including the poo emoji he sent in reply to a tweet from the platform’s chief executive about fake account numbers.

“Twitter describes Elon Musk as a hypocrite who has trashed the company and caused ‘irreparable damage’”, Mr Navarra said.

“Yet Twitter wants a judge to force Elon Musk to pay up and complete the $44billion takeover deal he started. This could end up being the world’s most expensive case of ‘If you break it, you pay for it’.”