Elon Musk sues Twitter over $44 billion deal amid new legal action from shareholder | Twitter

Elon Musk has antagonized Twitter, escalating his legal battle against the social media company over his bid to walk away from the $44 billion acquisition.

Musk’s lawsuit was filed Friday, hours after Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ordered a five-day trial starting Oct. 17 to determine whether Musk can walk away from the deal.

The contractor̵[ads1]7;s 164-page document was not publicly available, but according to legal rules, a redacted version may soon be published.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also on Friday, Musk was sued by a Twitter shareholder who asked the court to order the billionaire to end the deal, find that he breached his fiduciary duty to Twitter shareholders and award damages for losses.

The lawsuit, which seeks class status, claims Musk owes a fiduciary duty to Twitter’s shareholders because of his 9.6% stake in the company and because the takeover agreement gives him a veto over many of the company’s decisions. The lawsuit was brought by Luigi Crispo, who owns 5,500 Twitter shares, in the Court of Chancery.

Musk, the world’s richest person and CEO of Tesla, said on July 8 that he was abandoning the takeover and accused Twitter of breaching the agreement by misrepresenting the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Twitter sued days later, calling the fake account a distraction and saying Musk was bound by the merger contract to close the deal at $54.20 a share. The company’s shares ended Friday at $41.61, the highest close since Musk left the deal.

McCormick rushed the case to trial last week, saying she wanted to limit the potential damage to Twitter caused by the uncertainty surrounding the deal.

Twitter has blamed the legal battle for falling revenue and causing chaos at the company.

The two sides had initially agreed to a trial on October 17, but disagreed on the limits of discovery or access to internal documents and other evidence.

Musk accused Twitter this week of dragging its feet in responding to his discovery requests, and Twitter accused him of seeking vast amounts of data irrelevant to the main issue in the case: whether Musk had breached the settlement agreement.

The chief justice in her order on Friday seemed to anticipate discovery conflicts to come. “This order does not resolve any specific discovery disputes, including the propriety of large data set requests,” McCormick said.

Musk also faces a week-long trial in Wilmington, Delaware, which begins on October 24. A Tesla shareholder is seeking to annul as corporate waste and unjust enrichment the CEO’s record $56 billion pay package from the electric car maker.

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