Twitter is pushing back against billionaire Elon Musk’s allegations that the company “hoodwinked” him into signing a $44 billion deal to purchase the social media platform.
Musk, who’s trying to back out of the deal, filed a countersuit against Twitter last week in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. In July, Twitter sued Musk to enforce the merger agreement and alleged that the billionaire is trying to get out of acquiring the company because his personal wealth has fallen and the purchase has thus become more expensive.
Musk alleges that Twitter failed to provide him information to verify that fewer than 5% of Twitter’s more than 220 million daily users were spam-focused or fake, an important metric for understanding Twitter’s ads business. The billionaire claims Twitter misrepresented or omitted information that would shed light on the company’s value.
In a 127-page legal filing in response to Musk’s allegations, Twitter called Musk’s claims “implausible and contrary to fact as it sounds.” Twitter shared the document publicly in a tweet on Thursday, escalating its legal feud with the billionaire.
“When Twitter sued to enforce its rights and exposed the weakness of those reasons, Musk spent weeks coming up with more supposed reasons — the Counterclaims — which offer up an entirely new set of excuses for his breach. The Counterclaims are a made-for-litigation tale that is contradicted by the evidence and common sense,” the legal filing says.
Twitter said it never misled Musk because the company had already disclosed there were limitations to its estimates of spam or fake accounts and that the number could be higher. Musk claims that the number of spam or fake accounts is at least 10%, but Twitter said “Musk is not measuring the same thing as Twitter or even using the same data as Twitter.”
Musk lawyer Mike Ringler didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter and Musk are expected to head to trial on Oct. 17 if they don’t reach a settlement. Twitter’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal in a special meeting on Sept. 13.