Elon Musk fails in his attempt to delay the trial against Twitter, but he will be able to present new evidence

One lime and one sand. The Wilmington (Delaware) court judge who will rule on whether Elon Musk is obliged to buy Twitter for 44,000 million dollars (a slightly higher amount in euros), as agreed, has refused to delay the trial against the social network until November, as requested by Elon Musk. On the other hand, the richest man in the world does may introduce new arguments for breaking the purchase agreement. The tycoon’s lawyers will now allege the failures denounced by the former head of security for the social network, Peiter Zatko.

Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, 42, has made the decision after a hearing in which the two parties presented their positions this past Tuesday. “I have previously rejected the arguments of the defendants in response to Twitter’s acceleration motion, making it clear that the longer the trial is delayed, the greater the risk of irreparable damage to Twitter,” the judge reiterates in her decision. And she adds: “I am convinced that even a four-week delay would pose a risk of additional damage to Twitter too great to justify.” The trial, therefore, remains scheduled for the week of October 17.

In the five-page order, the judge indicates that, in general, she admits new allegations as long as they are justified, because the important thing is to rule on the merits of the matter. “Twitter argues that the amendment [a las alegaciones de Musk] It would be useless, but his arguments falter against the norm, ”says the judge, who believes that the procedural rules protect the tycoon from introducing new arguments and evidence. “I am reluctant to say more about the merits of the counterclaims at this time before they have been fully litigated. The world will have to wait for the post-trial decision,” adds McCormick.

In the United States, one of the parties to civil lawsuits is the so-called discovery, requirements by which the parties must facilitate even their personal communications and their internal documentation related to the case. The judge now allows that right to be exercised in relation to Zatko’s new complaint, but asks that it be done quickly.

A timely complaint

With the initial arguments to break up the Twitter takeover, things weren’t looking too good for Musk. His arguments about fake accounts seemed artificially fabricated to break the deal, rather than a genuine surprise that he’d gotten from further analysis of the company. This Friday’s hearing gave further proof of this, as the lawyers of the social network read a message from Musk himself to a Morgan Stanley banker in which both commented on a speech that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to give, and The tycoon pointed out that it would not make sense to buy Twitter if the third world war was going to break out.

Also, Musk was always complaining that there were too many bots on Twitter, so later claiming that he was breaking the deal because he had suddenly discovered that there were too many bots wasn’t very convincing. That was, basically, the argument of the rupture letter that Musk sent on July 8 and for which he has sued Twitter to force him to buy the social network. In the purchase agreement, moreover, the matter was not even mentioned.

Suddenly, a complaint from a former employee Twitter has come to Musk as if it came from heaven. peter muddy Zatko, a legendary hacker hired by the company to handle security and fired in January after 15 months on the job, he accuses the social network of concealing “extreme, enormous shortcomings” from US federal authorities in its fight against spam on the platform, its defenses against hackers and the software that use their data centers. Musk’s lawyers, who have already requested a summons to take a statement from Zatko, sent a letter to Twitter in which they use these complaints, related to security and privacy, as new excuses, mainly, to break the purchase agreement of the company. social network.

“Allegations have since come to light regarding certain facts, known to Twitter prior to and as of July 8, 2022, but not disclosed to Musk and his associates prior to and at that time, that provide additional and distinct grounds for terminating the agreement. merger agreement, says the second breakup letter sent by the lawyers of the richest man in the world. The lawyers make some balances. They say that this letter was not necessary because the previous one was already valid to break the merger, but that they send it “in the event that it is determined that the one from July 8 is invalid for any reason.”

Judge McCormick has finally admitted that these allegations are also studied, but the lawyers are going to have to work quickly, because what she does not want is to delay the trial even to November, as Musk had requested.

The lawsuit is settled in a court of equity in Wilmington, in the State of Delaware, the business capital of the United States, which offers advantageous taxation and flexible regulation. The Delaware Chancery Court is part of that ecosystem. It was created in 1792, shortly after the independence of the United States, and in the last century it has become an arbiter of the great American corporate disputes. Its judges are specialized in commercial matters and companies prefer them. He has settled large-scale business battles, takeover bids, mergers and lawsuits of all kinds.

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Elon Musk fails in his attempt to delay the trial against Twitter, but he will be able to present new evidence