Science & Technology

Elon Musk’s lawyers ask judge to call off Twitter trial

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Lawyers for Elon Musk have officially asked to cancel the upcoming trial with Twitter, as the two sides attempt to negotiate a deal. In a new court filing, Musk’s lawyers asked the judge to call off the trial, which is currently scheduled to begin October 17th.

Earlier this week, Musk’s camp had proposed proceeding with the original deal, to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share, contingent on Musk’s financing going through and the adjournment of the trial. Twitter responded that it was also intent on closing the deal.

While that certainly seemed to put the two sides a lot closer to an agreement, it wasn’t an immediate end to the litigation. The New York Times has since reported that Twitter does not want to call off the trial until a deal is finalized and the company’s shareholders have been paid. There are likely other sticking points, too. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that “Musk is also seeking to reserve his rights to file a fraud suit over his claims the platform’s executives misled him and other investors about the number of spam and robot accounts.”

In their latest filing, Musk’s lawyers confirm the disagreement over the trial, writing that Twitter is now endangering the deal. “Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” Musk’s lawyers write. “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests. Instead of allowing the parties to turn their focus to securing the Debt Financing necessary to consummate the transaction and preparing for a transition of the business, the parties will instead remain distracted by completing discovery and an unnecessary trial.”

Notably, the filing comes on the same day Musk was scheduled to be deposed in the case. The deposition was delayed — for the second time. Musk’s lawyers say they expect the deal could close “on or around October 28.”

Update 6 PM ET: The judge in the case has stayed the trial until October 28th, the date Musk’s lawyers said they expected to close. “If the transaction does not close by 5 p.m. on October 28, 2022, the parties are instructed to contact me by email that evening to obtain November 2022 trial dates,” Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick wrote. 

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