In the latest episode of the Elon Musk Twitter saga, Twitter has pushed back on the electric car head’s request for a trial held in February 2023, claiming the billionaire’s request “fails at every level,” according to a Monday court filing.
“Musk offers no reason to think discovery must be so expansive that a trial must wait until next year,” Twitter’s attorneys stated in the July 18 filing. “The earliest possible trial date is imperative. This very public dispute harms Twitter with each passing day Musk is in breach.”
The social media platform is suing Musk to force him to complete a $44 billion acquisition deal at the previously-agreed price of $54.20 a share. Twitter is currently seeking an expedited trial date of September, a schedule Musk’s lawyers call “unnecessary and burdensome.”
In a filing on Friday, Musk, the defendant, requested that the trial be held on or after Feb. 13, 2023, calling the seven-month preparation “an extremely rapid schedule for a case of this enormous magnitude.”
“The core dispute over false and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value. It is also extremely fact and expert intensive, requiring substantial time for discovery,” Musk’s lawyers state in the lawsuit.
The lawyers noted that, three days after signing the agreement to the $44 billion deal, Twitter restated three years of “monetizable daily active users”—a metric Musk’s lawyers say is a key in determining Twitter’s profitability.
“Twitter’s sudden request for warp speed after two months of foot-dragging and obfuscation is its latest tactic to shroud the truth about spam accounts long enough to railroad defendants into closing,” Musk’s Friday filing said.
Twitter, disagreeing, called Musk’s pronounced concern over the social media platform’s bot accounts an “irrelevant sideshow.”
“Musk’s alleged core issue—the number of spam Twitter accounts—is a contractually irrelevant sideshow that Musk wants to use to disparage Twitter and prolong this litigation,” the plaintiff’s Monday filing said. “Nor does Musk offer any reason that the overbroad and diversionary discovery program he proposes cannot be completed on the schedule Twitter seeks.”
Twitter piled on its claims with concerns that the lawsuit could cause material damage to the company’s reputation and profitability, saying that “the earliest possible trial date is imperative.”
“Millions of Twitter shares trade daily under a cloud of Musk-created doubt,” reads Twitter’s filing. “No public company of this size and scale has ever had to bear these uncertainties.”
Kathaleen McCormick, the chancellor of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday morning, in which a judge will hear both sides’ perspectives on when the trial should start.
“Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he—unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law—is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away,” Twitter said in its complaint filed on July 12.
“Oh the irony lol,” Musk wrote on Twitter, an hour after Twitter filed the lawsuit.