“Elon Musk’s exit strategy is a model of hypocrisy” and a “model of bad faith”, say Twitter lawyers, who seem determined to fight it out. The American platform took legal action on Tuesday to force Elon Musk to buy the social network under the terms agreed with the boss of Tesla at the end of April, which valued the Californian group at 44 billion dollars.
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A judge from a court specializing in business law, in the State of Delaware (eastern United States), will therefore have to determine whether or not the multi-billionaire can terminate the acquisition agreement, free of charge. . The latter provides for severance pay of one billion dollars, which Elon Musk does not seem to want to settle, as it stands.
“After putting on quite a show to target Twitter, and after proposing and then signing a merger deal, Musk appears to believe he’s free – unlike any party bound by a contract under the law of the Delaware – to change your mind, defame the company, disrupt its business, destroy its stock value, and wash your hands of it,” they assert in a court document seen by the court. AFP.
Musk’s behavior sought to ‘harm Twitter’
The whimsical entrepreneur rose to the capital of Twitter at the start of the year, before announcing his intention to buy the platform, which he considers too “censored”, in the interest of democracy.
To justify its unilateral decision on Friday to terminate the agreement, its lawyers assured that Twitter had not provided all the information requested on inauthentic accounts active on the network and minimized the number of spam messages.
But for the blue bird, “Musk’s behavior simply confirms that he wanted to get out of a contract he signed freely, and harm Twitter at the same time”.
Also read: The four lessons of the Elon Musk-Twitter fiasco
“Oh the irony lol,” reacted Elon Musk on Twitter on Tuesday. On Monday, he posted an image with four photos of himself, hilarious, with this caption: “They said I can’t buy Twitter. Then they refused to reveal the fake account information. Now they want to force me to take over Twitter in court. Now they are forced to reveal information about fake accounts.
Advantage to Twitter in terms of legal arguments
For several months, the richest man in the world has been increasing attacks and mockery against the network where he is followed by more than 100 million people. He sharply criticized its content moderation policy, and publicly mocked some executives.
At the height of the row over the number of inauthentic accounts, he pitted a poop emoji against arguments from Twitter boss Parag Agrawal. “He claimed to ‘suspend’ the agreement while waiting to meet imaginary conditions, failed in his obligation to find financing (…) breached his duty of reserve (and) used confidential information for bad purposes”, list the company’s lawyers.
Elon Musk “did not use the means necessary to complete the acquisition,” they add. “Twitter has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm from these breaches.”
On Friday, the chairman of the board of directors (CA) of the platform, Bret Taylor, had warned that the CA was “determined to conclude the transaction at the price and on the terms agreed” and intended to prevail in court.
Read also: Elon Musk against Twitter, (possible) end of the story
“There’s a whole range of possible outcomes: a negotiated settlement between the parties to avoid litigation, payment of severance pay, enforcement of the contract, and a myriad of other possibilities,” noted analyst Dan Ives Tuesday. Different experts in business law agree to give the advantage to Twitter in terms of legal arguments, but believe that the social network will suffer permanently from this case, whatever the conclusion.
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