Twitter/Musk: Judge adjourns trial for parties to settle

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Twitter/Musk: Judge adjourns trial for parties to settle

On Monday, in another about-face, Elon Musk finally offered to complete the deal to buy Twitter (archives).

The judge in charge of litigation between Twitter and Elon Musk adjourned the proceedings on Thursday and gave both parties until October 28 for the boss of Tesla to buy the social network, failing which the trial initially scheduled for ten days will take place. in November.

A few hours earlier, the multi-billionaire's lawyers had asked for the suspension of the lawsuits initiated by Twitter to force their client to honor the agreement. acquisition.

They said they expect the deal to close around October 28.

Elon Musk had in April forced the hand of the board of directors of the Californian group to buy it out, against 44 billion dollars, before unilaterally reconsidering his commitment a few weeks later.

On Monday, in a further U-turn, he finally offered to complete the transaction at the originally agreed price, as long as he obtained the necessary funds and Twitter ended its lawsuits.

But after months of public attacks and changes of heart from the whimsical entrepreneur, the company wanted unequivocal proof of its seriousness.

Twitter's lawyers had therefore opposed earlier Thursday the adjournment of the trial requested by the opposing party, calling this proposal an invitation to more cunning and delay.

< p class="e-p">Judge Kathaleen McCormick finally ruled: Proceedings are suspended until October 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. to allow the parties to complete the transaction. If it is not concluded [by this date and time], the parties should contact me by email to obtain dates for a trial in November.

A move that took many observers by surprise, as Twitter seemed to have the upper hand so far. The law of Delaware, where this type of conflict is usually settled, promotes the respect of contracts.

Elon Musk has a point, notes Ann Lipton, professor of law at Tulane University. He clearly wanted to delay the proceedings and avoid his testimony, which has already been postponed several times.

The judge is giving him a chance to keep his word, says the expert: She gave him some slack, but if the deal didn't close by the deadline, Twitter would have a stronger case to prove that he [Elon Musk, editor's note] was in bad shape. faith all the way.

Negotiations between the two parties resumed earlier this week, but they are stalling over the funding condition.

In their motion, Elon Musk's lawyers note that Twitter refuses to discontinue its lawsuits due to the theoretical possibility of a future failure to complete the financing.

But that failure didn't happen at this point, they point out. On the contrary, the creditors have indicated that they are ready to honor their obligations, say the lawyers. Twitter's baseless guesses have been refuted by the banks themselves.

They believe their client has agreed to do what the company asked. And yet, Twitter refuses to accept this positive response. Incredibly, [the company] insists on proceeding, endangering the transaction and playing with the interests of shareholders.

The blue bird group, for their part, argued that they had no reason to trust the richest man in the world.

On numerous occasions, the Musk clan failed to meet its obligation to do everything possible to complete the transaction, Twitter's lawyers replied.

For months, [the opposing party] has advanced increasingly implausible accusations to delay the trial […], accusations which appeared without merit during the preliminary hearings, they asserted.

< p class="e-p">Now, on the eve of the trial, they say they want to conclude. […] ''Trust us, they say, we are serious this time'', mocked the social network.

Elon Musk's lawyers have argued that the most likely outcome in their view would be for the debt to be funded, in which case shareholders will receive their money much faster than if Twitter wins the lawsuit, and then the appeal […] a process that could take months.

The court is supposed to see things neutrally and therefore does not not have an opinion on Elon Musk, reminds Adam Badawi, professor of law at the University of Berkeley.

But if the billionaire does not keep his word, the consequences could be harsh, adds the expert, because it is a court specialized in business law, which therefore has more leeway to impose sanctions.

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