Elon Musk on Friday added a severance package from Twitter to a whistleblower to the list of reasons he feels justified in walking away from the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform.
A termination letter sent to Twitter accused the firm of failing to inform him of a multimillion-dollar severance package it paid in June to outgoing security chief Peiter Zatko, who went on to file a whistleblower complaint criticizing Twitter̵[ads1]7;s security practices, according to a copy of the letter filed with Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk’s lawyers argued that failing to seek consent before paying Zatko provides another legal basis to break the merger agreement with Twitter he inked in April.
“My friend appears to be arguing that Twitter should have told Musk for free that there was a disgruntled former employee who made various allegations that had been investigated and found to be without merit,” Twitter attorney William Savitt said earlier this week.
“It makes no sense.”
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
Musk, the world’s richest man, said in his original resignation letter that he canceled the deal because he was misled by Twitter about the number of bot accounts on the platform, claims the company denied.
In a mixed ruling earlier this week, Kathaleen McCormick, the chancellor of the Delaware court overseeing the case, said Musk could add whistleblower disclosures from Zatko that surfaced in August.
But she rejected his request to push back the trial, saying extending the trial “would risk further damage to Twitter too great to justify.”
Musk has been locked in a bitter legal battle with Twitter since announcing in July that he was pulling the plug on buying the company after a complex, volatile, months-long courtship.
The five-day trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 17 in Delaware court.
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