Twitter Claps Back at Musk's Attempt to Delay Trial Over $44B Deal

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
Queenie Wong
2 min read
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What's happening

Twitter wants a judge to grant its request to hold a four-day trial in September after the company sued billionaire Elon Musk for trying to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company.

Why it matters

Twitter says the company risks "irreparable harm" if the legal fight drags on.

What's next

Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick is scheduled to hold a hearing about Twitter's motion to speed up the legal process on Tuesday.

Twitter is fighting billionaire Elon Musk's efforts to delay a trial over his attempt to end a $44 billion deal to purchase the influential social network. 

Last week, Twitter sued Musk to force him to complete the purchase. The company also urged a judge to speed up the legal process by holding a four-day trial in September. Musk's lawyers, though, want the trial to happen on Feb. 23 or later.

"This very public dispute harms Twitter with each passing day Musk is in breach," Twitter's lawyers said in a filing on Monday. "Musk amplifies this harm by using the company's own platform as a megaphone to disparage it."

Monday's filing is the latest development in what could shape out to be a lengthy and ugly legal battle between Twitter and the world's richest man. Musk said he's pulling out of the deal because the social network hasn't provided him enough information to verify that fewer than 5% of Twitter's 229 million daily users are fake or spam accounts. Since Twitter makes most of its money from selling ads, Musk said this user data is an important part of understanding the company's business. Twitter said in the lawsuit, though, that Musk's information requests were "designed to try to tank the deal." The billionaire's stake in his company Tesla has fallen since the deal was announced in April so buying Twitter has become more expensive for Musk, Twitter noted in the lawsuit.

In a nine-page filing to the Delaware Chancery Court on Monday, Twitter said that Musk's ongoing complaint about the number of automated or bot accounts on its site is a "contractually irrelevant sideshow" that the billionaire "wants to use to disparage Twitter and prolong this litigation." Twitter also accused Musk of proposing a schedule for the trial that is "unreasonably elongated" and meant to "complicate and obfuscate." The company said the Delaware court has shown merger-enforcement disputes can be litigated in 60 to 75 business days. 

Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on Twitter's request for a four-day trial in September. The meeting will be held through video conferencing platform Zoom instead of in person because the judge tested positive for COVID-19. Musk's lawyer Mike Ringler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.