Elon Musk hits Twitter with countersuit over fizzled buyout

Elon Musk dropped a countersuit on Twitter Inc. on Friday, continuing his bid to bail out of his previous $44 billion agreement to buy the social media company.

Quoting businessman Warren Buffett, the suit read, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked,” in support of Musk’s claims that the deal fizzled over the undisclosed bot account numbers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The 164-page document was filed in Delaware’s Court of Chancery shortly before it was due at 5 p.m, The New York Post reported.

Musk signed a related filing that asserted, “I have reviewed the counterclaims and declare that the matter contained therein insofar as it concerns my acts and deeds is true, and insofar as it relates to the acts and deeds of any other person, I believe it to be true.”

Although filed under seal, the court may release a partially redacted version as early as next week although an agreement on the redactions will likely need to be made between the parties.

The sealed nature of the lawsuit is likely due to confidential information shared between Musk and Twitter under the terms of a non-disclosure agreement.

It’s almost certainly because they are including facts that they have gained under an expectation of confidentiality from Twitter,” former corporate attorney J.B. Heaton said.

The complaint filed by Twitter earlier this month accused Musk of violating Delaware law and devaluing the company.

“Musk 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,” Twitter wrote in the July 12 filing.

Evidence used to support the assertions included a poop emoji that Musk tweeted on May 16 in reply to Twitter CEO’s claims that they couldn’t figure out exactly how many fake accounts there are on the platform.

“We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc.)”

Musk backed out of the deal on July 8 due to “false and misleading representations” and claims that they had “not complied with its contractual obligations.” Musk suspects that up to 20 percent of the accounts on Twitter are fake, but Twitter has only owned up to 5 percent being fake.

The latest development in Musk’s Twitter deal had people, and likely bots, tweeting up a storm on Twitter.


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