Twitter vs. Elon Musk: First legal face-off

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Twitter against Elon Musk: first legal face-to-face

In its complaint against Elon Musk, Twitter accused the billionaire of having shown “hypocrisy” and “bad faith”.

A US judge set the start of the Twitter's lawsuit against Elon Musk in October for five days, granting the social network's request for a speedy procedure.

The platform last week launched lawsuits against the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, to force him to honor his commitment to acquire it for 44 billion dollars.

Twitter had requested an accelerated procedure, as early as September, so as not to prolong the period of uncertainty which is partly paralyzing the company.

Judge Kathaleen McCormick, president of a business law court in Delaware [northeast], acknowledged that delays could cause irreparable damage to Twitter. She also mentioned that it was uncertain whether the payment of damages from Elon Musk would be sufficient to repair the harm suffered.

The hearing was held via Zoom, as the judge has COVID.

Elon Musk's lawyers filed an appeal on Friday to stop hostilities from opening until next year. They assure that the experts will have to analyze mountains of data to prove, as the multi-billionaire claims, that the platform is full of automated accounts and spam, well beyond the proportion of 5% officially indicated.< /p>

This is the reason Elon Musk gave for unilaterally ending the agreement to take over the social network he considers a place public service essential to democracy.

This topic that Musk says will require a complex review is a fabricated problem, designed to complicate matters and cause delays, argued Twitter attorney William Savitt. The merger agreement doesn't even mention bots or spam, he insisted.

We suspect that Mr. Musk wants to delay this trial long enough to never be held to account. […] He knows that in such circumstances, justice delayed is often justice not done. This is even what he hopes, he said.

Although she is going through an image crisis after months of attacks and denigrations on the part of its ex-suitor, the platform is the favorite in this showdown.

Twitter's stock has been in good shape since the lawsuit was filed, noted Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives. It seems that many investors who have read it have concluded that this Game of Thrones showdown in the courts is going to end in a victory for Twitter.

By victory , the expert hears a decision from the judge that would force Elon Musk to buy the company at the price agreed at the end of April [$54.20 of the action] or to pay substantial damages.< /p>

The odds of him getting away with only paying the [billion dollar] severance pay, or being declared in his rightful right, are considered to be very low.

Litigation depends on the Delaware Court of Chancery, whose president Kathaleen McCormick – the first woman in this position – has taken up the case.

< p class="e-p">She is a very serious judge, who will not be intimidated by either party. […] In the past, she has not been kind to those who acted in bad faith, points out Adam Badawi, professor of law at the University of Berkeley.

In its complaint, Twitter accused Elon Musk of “hypocrisy” and “bad faith”.

Lawyers for the company believe he has changed his mind in the face of the recent drop in stock market valuations of technology companies.

Kathaleen McCormick is notably known for having imposed on Kohlberg, a company that had also tried to break off an engagement, to buy out the company in question, DecoPac.

The fate of the bluebird, a social network used around the world by politicians, celebrities, activists and influencers, seems to have little in common with that of organizations less vue.

But it's not different enough, I think, for Delaware to risk its reputation by deciding not to implement the terms of the agreement, considers Adam Badawi.

The multi-billionaire and the board can still choose to agree on a slightly lower price and thus avoid the lawsuit.

But that would be rational reasoning, remarks Adam Badawi, referring to the unpredictability of Elon Musk. In another case tried in Delaware, Elon Musk showed his willingness to go all the way, adds the professor. And he won. I don't think his instinct is necessarily to come to an arrangement.

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