Twitter’s lawyers have presented new evidence at a hearing in Delaware’s Chancery Court in the court case over Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s withdrawn takeover of Twitter. Accordingly, Musk is said not to have withdrawn the Twitter takeover due to incorrect information about spam and bot accounts, as Bloomberg reports, but out of concern about a third world war and a general market decline that would result.
According to the Bloomberg report, Musk asked Morgan Grimes, tech banker at Morgan Stanley, in a text message on May 8 to slow down the business process surrounding the Twitter acquisition. Musk initially wanted to wait for a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the war in Ukraine and its potential expansion to other countries. “Let’s wait a few days. Tomorrow’s Putin speech is extremely important. There’s no point in buying Twitter when we’re headed for World War III,” Musk wrote, according to Twitter attorney William Savitt, who broke the news presented as evidence.
The argumentation strategy
Twitter is trying to undermine Musk’s argument that he canceled the $44 billion deal because of allegedly incorrect information about the number of spam and bot accounts on Twitter and corresponding deception. Musk had used his own tool to determine the number, which Twitter classified as inadmissible.
Musk also played into the cards that the former Twitter security chief Peiter Zatko, as a whistleblower “Mudge” of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Trade Commission FTC and the US Department of Justice, received information about internals from Twitter on the security and privacy of the micro- leaked blogging service. “Mudge” revealed in it that Twitter does little against spam accounts and bots and uses outdated methods to proactively sort them out. The actual number of automated bot and spam accounts is said to be significantly higher.
For Musk and his lawyers, this is the central argument in the court proceedings in order to be able to get out of the deal halfway harmless. With the information, Musk’s lawyers wanted to have the court hearing scheduled for October 17 postponed. It is unclear whether the responsible judge will approve this request after the hearing on Tuesday. The decision on this should be made next week.
Twitter, on the other hand, argues that Musk’s withdrawal from the acquisition agreement was not because of the quality and quantity of Twitter accounts, but because of fears of an overall market downturn due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
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