It is a fierce battle between the two parties in this case, with subpoenas and injunctions to provide documents: the conflict between Elon Musk and Twitter. This time, the American billionaire has given the former boss of the social network, Jack Dorsey, an injunction to provide a whole series of documents. According to documents made public on Monday, the one who left the general management of Twitter in November received an injunction to give Elon Musk all files or communications related to the takeover agreement made in April, as well as any information on fake accounts or how Twitter calculates the number of its active users. All documents available on these subjects at Jack Dorsey since January 2019 are concerned.
This is yet another attempt by the boss of Tesla to extricate himself from the social network’s $ 44 billion side buyout agreement, signed at the end of April. In response, the platform filed a complaint on July 12 before the Delaware Court of Chancery, a court specializing in business law, to compel him to honor his buyout commitment or obtain severance pay, estimated at one billion dollars. For his part, Elon Musk also filed a complaint before the same court shortly afterwards.
To justify his desire to break this agreement, the businessman claims that twitter lied about the proportion of automated accounts and spam on its platform. According to the arguments filed by its lawyers in court, the social network has ” fraud ” claiming 238 million monetizable daily users, because there are actually 65 million less. Otherwise, “the majority of advertisements” would only be broadcast“with less than 16 million users, a fraction” what Twitter claims. The complaint, which qualifies “misrepresentations” of the social network of “sins”, affirm that “Twitter frantically blocked information from circulating in a desperate attempt to prevent (Elon Musk) from uncovering the fraud”. Thus, Musk is asking the court to release him from the agreement and to order Twitter to pay him damages.
A “contract that Musk no longer finds interesting”
For its part, the platform ensures that spam only represents less than 5% of users and replies that Elon Musk rushed the negotiations and that the agreement never mentioned fake accounts. The lawyers of the social network denounce a “attempt to escape a contract that Musk no longer finds attractive since the stock market fell”. The title of Twitter had, in fact, collapsed to around 32 dollars on July 11, weighed down by the general decline in the stock market in recent months, the drop in advertising revenue from social networks linked to the economic situation and public criticism from ‘Elon Musk.
The dispute between the platform and the billionaire should be settled during the trial which will open on October 17 and which should last five days.