Lawyers for Twitter and Elon Musk debated evidence to be provided by each party on Tuesday, three weeks away from an unprecedented trial over the proposed $44 billion network takeover.
'Let's skip the rhetoric and get to the heart of the matter,' exclaimed US judge Kathaleen McCormick, after more than three hours of argument during the preliminary hearing organized via Zoom.
Lawyers for the world's richest man have again demanded access to more data on inauthentic or automated accounts, at the heart of their client's arguments to waive to acquire the platform.
On the other hand, they believe that Twitter is asking them for too much information about their exchanges with Peiter Zatko, the social network's former security chief turned whistleblower, who this summer accused his former company of having concealed computer vulnerabilities and lied on its fight against fake accounts.
In early July, the San Francisco-based group launched legal proceedings against Elon Musk, to force him to honor the acquisition contract signed at the end of April.
According to the board of directors, the proportion of spam on the platform is a pretext put forward by the businessman, who would have changed his mind when he saw the value of companies falling on the stock market in recent months.
Twitter's lawyers on Tuesday denied abusing solicitor-client privilege to withhold certain documents.
They are due to question Elon Musk in a closed-door deposition that was postponed to 6-7 October, according to several press reports.
The trial is due to open on October 17 in a specialized court in the state of Delaware (east coast of the United States), and last five days.
The market has long given Twitter the advantage , the law of Delaware being a priori favorable to the respect of contracts. And the president of the court, Kathaleen McCormick, granted the company a speedy trial, while the multi-billionaire wanted to wait until next year and demanded astronomical amounts of data.
But the surprise intervention of the whistleblower has added a dimension to the case, since the judge allowed Elon Musk to include the new charges in his arguments.
The battle in court could lead to “an agreement, the payment of fees for breach of contract, the obligation to repurchase Twitter as planned and a myriad of other results,” considers Dan Ives, of Wedbush Securities, in a note Tuesday.
The analyst also continues to believe “it is possible that the parties negotiate behind the scenes”.