How Elon Musk wants to buy time to avoid being taken over by Twitter

Elon Musk is doing everything he can to stop the takeover of Twitter. Calling a key witness to help, the Tesla founder asked for a postponement of the trial against the social network.

Elon Musk no longer wants to buy Twitter. In July, after weeks of negotiations, the capricious billionaire withdrew his takeover bid. Through his lawyers, the Tesla boss accuses the social network of non-compliance with the terms of the contract.

This turn was not well received by Twitter management. To force Elon Musk to honor his $44 billion takeover bid, the microblogging platform has filed a lawsuit in a Delaware court in the United States.

Elon Musk is doing everything possible to avoid a takeover

Elon Musk quickly counterattacked, in turn filing a complaint against the social network. To finance the impending legal battle, the entrepreneur sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in the Tesla automotive group in August. For the record, he already sold $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares to prepare for the Twitter takeover last April.

In his complaint, the richest man in the world accuses Twitter of lying about the number of fake accounts and bots on the platform. The social network guarantees that fake accounts make up less than 5% of the total number of users. For his part, Elon Musk thinks the number is much higher. That’s why he no longer wants to acquire Twitter.

“Allegations of certain facts known to Twitter prior to or on July 8, 2022, but not disclosed to the parties representing Musk on or before that date, have since surfaced and provide additional and explicit reasons for terminating the agreement,” says Mike Ringler. , one of Elon Musk’s lawyers.

To prove his claims, Elon Musk asked former Twitter security chief Peter Zatko to testify at his trial. The expert, who now calls himself a whistleblower, agrees with Elon Musk. In a letter to U.S. regulators, Zatko does claim that Twitter deliberately underestimates the number of false accounts. Fired last January, the former hacker paints a far from rosy portrait of Twitter’s leaders. According to him, the perpetrators show negligence and multiply lies.

Elon Musk’s lawyers also subpoenaed Peter Zatko. They ask him for all documents and messages in his possession that are related to “the impact of fake accounts and spam on Twitter activity.” The agenda also asks for any document related to measuring the number of monetized daily active users. This indicator indicates the financial condition of the company.

Lawyers are also interested in possible evidence that Twitter was trying to mask “security breaches by investors, regulators and the public.” More broadly, Elon Musk’s legal team says they’re looking for the slightest trace of illegal activity.

See also: How Twitter’s ambition to become the new OnlyFans was nipped in the bud

Elon Musk asks to postpone the trial

Zatko promised to fulfill the request of the billionaire. However, he emphasizes that his initiative was not intended to “encourage Musk and weaken Twitter.” The group’s former head of security will testify on September 9, 2022.

Thanks to the data provided by Zatko, Elon Musk could theoretically strengthen his line of defense. According to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, Zatko’s appearance on the scene could even force Twitter to negotiate with the Tesla boss before the trial. He calls the former security chief a “potential Pandora’s box.”

After Zatko’s revelations, Elon Musk’s lawyers demanded a delay. To process the information provided by the whistleblower, Musk’s representatives are asking for a one-month delay.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on October 17 in Specialized Court in Delaware. If Musk’s request is accepted, the trial will be delayed until mid-November. Delaware Chancery Judge Kathleen McCormick has yet to respond to the petition.

Recall, Elon Musk already tried to postpone the trial in July, shortly after the Twitter complaint. The billionaire wanted the case to stay out of court until 2023. He believed that the social network is trying to rush things. Twitter quickly lobbied for the procedure to begin in the fall.

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