Elon Musk and Twitter continued sparring on Monday, with the social media company slamming the Tesla CEO’s request for a slower trial schedule. Musk is trying to terminate a deal he previously made to buy Twitter and take it private for $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion.
Musk has repeatedly accused Twitter of lying about the number of bot and spam accounts on its platform. Twitter has denied the claims and is suing to force Musk to complete the deal.
Twitter wants to go to trial as early as September, but Musk had asked the Delaware court to deny its request for an expedited trial and aim for next year. Musk needed time, his attorneys argued, to conduct exhaustive amounts of discovery around whether the company has misrepresented the amount of spam and bot accounts on its platform.
In Monday’s filing, Twitter accused Musk of using delay tactics to harm the company in the court of public opinion.
“The earliest possible trial date is imperative,” wrote the company’s lawyers. “This very public dispute harms Twitter with each passing day Musk is in breach. Musk amplifies this harm by using the Company’s own platform as a megaphone to disparage it.”
Twitter’s attorneys noted in their filing, “Millions of Twitter shares trade daily under a cloud of Musk-created doubt. No public company of this size and scale has ever had to bear these uncertainties.”
The chancellor assigned to rule on the case, Kathaleen St. J. McCormick, on Monday informed the parties that she has Covid. Instead of delaying the hearing about the trial schedule, she said they would hold one via teleconference (using Zoom) on Tuesday, July 19.