A Delaware judge set an October trial date for Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk, siding largely with the social media site as it seeks to force the mogul to go through with his $44 billion deal to buy the site.
The five-day trial will open in October, Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick said during a Thursday hearing.
“The longer the merger transaction remains in limbo, the larger the cloud of uncertainty cast over the company,” McCormick said, speaking with a hoarse voice through Zoom after testing positive for COVID-19.
Twitter had pushed for a four-day trial starting in September, with attorney William Savitt arguing in court on Tuesday that the ongoing uncertainty around the deal harms the site “every hour, every day.”
“Mr. Musk has been and remains contractually obligated to use his best efforts to close this deal,” Savitt said. “What he is doing is the exact opposite of best efforts. It is sabotage.”
Musk’s attorneys, meanwhile, argued that the trial should kick off no earlier than February 2023 so they could have more time to investigate the prevalence of bots on the site.
“What you’re talking about is a company that has a massive amount of data that has to be analyzed,” Musk’s lawyer Andrew Rossman said. “Billions of actions on their platform have to be analyzed in order for us to get to the bottom of the real issue here.”
Twitter’s lawyers accused the mogul of inventing the bots issue as an excuse to get out of the deal and trying to use a 2023 trial date as a “tactical delay.” The company wants Delaware to force Musk to complete his acquisition of the site at $54.20 per share. The company filed its suit against Musk last Tuesday.
Savitt pointed out in court that the merger agreement between Musk and Twitter does not mention spam accounts and argued that Musk seemed to be suffering from “buyer’s remorse.”
“Mr. Musk has made perfectly clear he has no intention of keeping any of his promises,” Savitt said.
Rossman, meanwhile, again slammed Twitter for failing to answer questions about bots and called a September trial date “preposterous.”
“The data science issues we have here are something that’s not present in any other case,” Rossman said.
The lawyer also accused Twitter of “trying to get this deal railroaded through” and keep the bots issue “shrouded in secrecy.”
The Tesla CEO is looking to file a countersuit against Twitter within days, The Post exclusively reported on Monday.
Musk’s lawyers are angling to push a Delaware Court of Chancery judge to grant them more time and power to gather information about bots on Twitter, sources close to the situation said.
A protracted legal battle could also potentially drag down the company’s stock, giving Musk more leverage to renegotiate Twitter’s sale price.
It’s unclear whether Musk was listening to the hearing, which was conducted remotely after McCormick tested positive for COVID-19.
An hour into the hearing, Musk sent out a tweet saying that his calves are bigger than those of a French bulldog.