(San Francisco) Multi-billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accused Twitter of “fraud” in the lawsuit over the $44 billion deal he signed to acquire the social network, but is seeking a split.
Posted at 12:12 p.m
Updated at 12:53 p.m
Elon Musk accuses Twitter of cheating on the social network’s number of monetizable accounts in a argument filed Thursday night in a Delaware state business court, according to this 165-page court document seen by AFP on Friday.
A legal battle breaks out between the richest man in the world and the social network.
Elon Musk’s lawyers have accused Twitter of “hiding the truth” about the social network’s claim of 238 million monetizable daily users.
According to this, it is about 65 million fewer and “the majority of the advertising” is only “broadcast to fewer than 16 million users, a fraction” of what Twitter claims.
The complaint, which calls the social network’s “misrepresentations” “sins,” alleges that “Twitter frantically blocked the spread of information to prevent (Elon Musk) discovering the scam.”
In mid-July, Twitter sued Elon Musk in the Delaware Court of Chancery, a court specializing in commercial law, to force him to redeem his $44 billion acquisition commitment. The trial is scheduled to begin on October 17.
Two weeks later, the richest man in the world responded with a “confidential” complaint.
Elon Musk took to Twitter in April and then signed a buyout deal for $54.20 per 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.
Tesla boss accuses board of covering up true proportion of fake accounts Twitter estimates it’s less than 5%
The official documents filed by the platform with the US Securities and Exchange Commissioner “contain numerous material misstatements and omissions that distort the value of Twitter and have led Elon Musk to agree to buy the company at an inflated price,” assure the businessman’s lawyers.
Twitter’s strategy, they continue, was to “play hide and seek” to keep the buyer from “seeing the truth” for as long as possible.
Twitter responded that the businessman rushed the negotiations and that the deal never mentioned the fake accounts, and the social network’s lawyers denounced an “attempt to break out of a deal that Musk hasn’t found interesting since the stock market crashed.”
Twitter’s stock plummeted to around $32 on July 11 between the general stock market decline in recent months, the decline in social media advertising revenue related to the economy, and public criticism from Elon Musk.
It was worth $41.97 on Friday, up 2.20%. Tesla stock fell 6.05% to $869.92.