DOVER, Dell – (AP) – Twitter’s response to Elon Musk’s lawsuit over his attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company will be made public at the latest by Friday evening, a judge said on Wednesday. Judgment pronounced.
Musk’s lawyers wanted to file a public version of his answer and counterclaim in a Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter’s lawyers complain they need more time review And potentially revise Musk’s sealed filing to say it refers “broadly” to internal Twitter information and data given to Musk.
Chancellor Kathleen St. Jude McCormick held a quick teleconference Wednesday before agreeing to Twitter, instructing that public filings be filed by 5 p.m. Friday. It can be filed earlier, depending on when Twitter’s lawyers finish their work review,
Twitter lawyers argued that court rules require that five business days elapse before a public version of Musk’s filing can be docked.
“Few cases attract as much public interest as this case, and Twitter is conscious of this court’s commitment to ensuring maximum public access to its proceedings,” Twitter attorney Kevin Shannon wrote. “Twitter has no interest in proposing any amendments more than is necessary to the defendants’ answerable arguments.”
Musk’s lawyer, Edward Micheletti, argued that Twitter’s lawyers were misinterpreting the court’s rules. Musk’s lawyers also say that Musk’s filing contains no confidential information that should be withheld from the public.
“Twitter should not be allowed to bury the side of the story it does not wish to publicly reveal,” Micheletti wrote.
Musk, the world’s richest man, offered $54.20 a share in April to buy Twitter and take it private and vowed to loosen the company’s policing of content and root out fake accounts.
Twitter shares closed Wednesday at $41, better than a 52-week high of $69.81.
Musk indicated in July that he wanted to back out of the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to keep him on a “seller-friendly” agreement.
Musk says Twitter has failed to provide him with enough information about the number of fake accounts on his service. Twitter argues that Musk, the CEO of electric car maker and solar power company Tesla Inc., is deliberately trying to avert the deal because market conditions have worsened and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.
If the other party is found responsible for the failure of the agreement, either Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a breakup fee of $1 billion. Twitter, however, wants more, and is seeking a court order of “distinctive performance,” instructing Musk to comply with the deal.
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