Elon Musk on Twitter: Elon Musk files countersuit against Twitter over $44 billion deal

Elon Musk counterclaim Twitter Inc on Friday, escalating its legal battle against the social media company over its offer to drop a $44 billion purchase, though the lawsuit was filed confidentially.

Although the 164-page document has not been made public, an edited version may soon be released to the public under court rules.

Musk’s lawsuit comes hours after Chancellor Kathleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery ordered a five-day trial that begins in October. 17 to determine if Musk can back out of the deal.

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 close the deal, admit that he violated his fiduciary obligations to Twitter shareholders, and award damages.

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

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Musk, the world’s richest man and chief executive of Tesla Inc, said on July 8 that he was refusing the takeover and accused Twitter Inc of violating the agreement by providing false data about the number of fake accounts on its platform.

A few days later, Twitter filed a lawsuit, calling claims of a fake account a distraction and claiming that Musk was bound by a merger agreement to close the deal at $54.20 per share. Shares of the company closed Friday at $41.61, the highest since Musk pulled out of the deal.

Last week, McCormick expedited the case to trial, saying she wants to limit the potential damage to Twitter caused by the deal’s uncertainty.

Twitter blamed the legal battle for plummeting revenue and creating chaos within the company.

Both sides basically agreed on October. 17 of the trial, but disagreed over the limits of detection or access to internal documents and other evidence.

This week, Musk accused Twitter of being slow to respond to his disclosure requests, and Twitter accused him of seeking vast amounts of data that are irrelevant to the main issue in the case: whether Musk violated the deal.

The chief judge, in his ruling on Friday, appeared to have foreseen the upcoming reopening controversy.

“This order does not resolve any specific discovery disputes, including the appropriateness of any requests for large datasets,” McCormick said.

Musk also faces a week-long trial in Wilmington, Delaware, starting in October. 24. Tesla shareholder seeks to void both corporate embezzlement and unjust enrichment a record $56 billion CEO payout from the electric car maker.

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