WILMINGTON – Elon Musk’s trial over his request to terminate his RM198.15 billion agreement for Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) should be postponed for several weeks to allow the billionaire to investigate a whistleblower’s accusations about security on the social media platform, Musk’s lawyer told a judge on Tuesday.
“Doesn’t justice demand a few weeks to look into this?” said Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, at a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.
Whistleblower charges surfaced last month, providing Musk, the world’s richest person, with new ammunition to bolster what legal experts believed was a long-shot bid to walk away from the transaction without paying an RM4.50 billion termination fee.
In a complaint to authorities, Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, a well-known hacker known as “Mudge,” said that the business falsely represented that it had a sound data protection plan.
Twitter has slammed Zatko’s charges as a “false narrative,” and the business’s lawyer accused the billionaire on Tuesday of exploiting the whistleblower allegations to cover up the fact that he allegedly rushed into purchasing the firm without fully analysing the dangers.
“Mr. Musk is blaming Twitter for his failing to do customary due diligence,” said William Savitt, an attorney for Twitter. He urged the judge to prevent Musk from adding whistleblower claims to his lawsuit but said if allowed, the five-day trial should begin on Oct. 17 as scheduled.
Savitt read an early May message from Musk to a banker that turned up in the litigation in which the billionaire wrote “it won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War III.” Savitt said it was evidence that Musk is looking for any way out of the deal and his initial claims about bots and fake accounts were merely a pretext to end the deal.
Twitter and Musk have sued each other. The company wants Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery to order Musk to buy the company for the RM244.09 per share he agreed to in April.
Shares of Twitter ended Tuesday trading at RM174.06 per share, up slightly.
McCormick ended Tuesday’s hearing without saying when she would rule.
Musk, who is also chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), initially countersued Twitter for misleading him about the amount of fake or bot accounts on the platform, which he said allowed him to walk away from the deal. – Reuters
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