Twitter filed its response to Elon Musk's complaint in court on Thursday, giving a clearer idea of the arguments of the multi-billionaire who is seeking to get out of the social network's takeover deal and the accuses him of having “thrown dust in his eyes”.
The claims of the boss of Tesla and SpaceX “are factually inaccurate, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant. We look forward to the trial,” tweeted Bret Taylor, chairman of the platform’s board of directors, on Thursday.
Mid-July, Twitter sued Elon Musk in the Delaware Court of Chancery, a court specializing in business law, to compel him to honor his acquisition commitment for 44 billion dollars. The trial is due to start on October 17.
But on Friday, the world's richest man countered with a “confidential” complaint.
“According to Musk – the billionaire who has founded several companies and is advised by bankers and lawyers of Wall Street – Twitter threw smoke and mirrors at him to get him to sign the takeover agreement,” the social network said.
“This is an attempt to escape a contract that Musk no longer finds interesting since the stock market has fallen”, assert his lawyers.
Elon Musk approached Twitter in April, then signed a deal for $54.20 a share. He unilaterally ended it in early July, on the grounds that the San Francisco-based company allegedly lied about the proportion of automated accounts and spam on its platform.
According to the document filed by Twitter on Thursday, the Tesla boss accuses the board of directors of having concealed the true proportion of inauthentic accounts, which he says is around 10% of daily active users and exposed to advertising. Twitter estimates it to be less than 5%.
The official documents filed by the platform with the American stock market policeman “contain numerous material misrepresentations and omissions which distort the value of Twitter and caused Elon Musk to accept to buy the company at an inflated price”, assure the businessman's lawyers.
Twitter's strategy, they continue, consisted of “playing hide and seek” to prevent the buyer from “discerning the truth” for as long as possible.
Twitter replies that the businessman rushed the negotiations and that the agreement never mentioned the fake accounts.< /p>
Between the general decline in the stock market in recent months, falling social media advertising revenue (due to economic conditions) and public criticism of Elon Musk, Twitter's stock had plummeted to about $32 on July 11. It was worth around $41 on Thursday.