© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An image of Elon Musk is seen on a smartphone placed over Twitter logos printed in this illustration taken April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) -Elon Musk could use whistleblower statements in his legal case against Twitter Inc (NYSE:) but the billionaire couldn’t delay the trial for trying to waive his $44 billion contract with the company, a judge ruled Wednesday.
“I believe even a four-week delay risks further harm to Twitter,” while insisting the trial will begin in September, Premier Kathaleen McCormick (NYSE:) of the Delaware Premier Court wrote. next.
Shares of Twitter rose about 4% in early Wednesday trading to $40.15.
“We hope that winning the amendment brings us one step closer to the truth presented in that courtroom,” said Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney.
Musk’s legal team on Tuesday argued that justice required a five-day delay in the trial so Musk could investigate claims by whistleblower Peiter Zatko, known as “Mudge,” that Twitter had concealed facts. weaknesses in your data security and privacy.
Musk’s initial case against Twitter alleges that the company misrepresented the prevalence of spam accounts or bots on the platform.
Last month, Zatko’s allegations went public and provided Musk, the world’s richest man, with fresh ammunition to bolster what legal experts say is a long-running attempt to walk away. without paying a $1 billion termination fee.
“We look forward to presenting our case in court starting October 17 and intend to close the transaction on the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” a Twitter spokesperson told the BBC. know.
In July, Twitter sued Musk, who is also the chief executive officer of electric vehicle maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc, to keep him in a deal to acquire the company in April for $54.20 per share. promissory note. The company has alleged that Musk chilled to the deal as global politics and inflation rattled markets shortly after the deal was signed.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter’s attorney read a message from Musk that came to light during the litigation that the attorney said the billionaire really didn’t care about spam accounts.
Musk sent a message to a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) banker in May, when Russian President Vladimir Putin was warning the West about his country’s war in Ukraine, that “it wouldn’t make any sense to buy Twitter if we were entering World War II.” War III.”
The deal does allow Musk to leave under certain limited conditions, though a fight is specifically ruled out.