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A judge has ruled that Elon Musk’s response to Twitter’s lawsuit will be published by Friday evening at the latest.
Elon Musk’s response to Twitter’s lawsuit over his attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company will be made public by Friday night at the latest, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Lawyers for Mr. Musk wanted to file a public version of their answer and counterclaims in a Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter’s lawyers complained they needed more time to review and possibly redact Mr Musk’s sealed filing, saying it made “extensive” references to internal Twitter information and data provided to Mr Musk.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick held a quick conference call Wednesday before agreeing with Twitter and ordering the public submission to be confirmed by 5 p.m. Friday. It may be filed sooner, depending on when Twitter’s lawyers complete their review.
Twitter’s lawyers argued that court rules require five business days to pass before the public version of Musk’s file is filed.
“Few cases attract as much public interest as this one, and Twitter is mindful of this court’s commitment to ensuring maximum public access to its proceedings,” attorney Kevin Shannon wrote on Twitter. “Twitter has no interest in proposing any more modifications to the defendants’ liability claim than is necessary.”
Mr. Musk’s lawyer, Edward Micheletti, argued that Twitter’s lawyers were misinterpreting court rules. His lawyers also say there is no confidential information in Mr. Musk’s filing that should be withheld from the public.
“Twitter should not be allowed to continue burying the side of the story it does not want to publish,” Mr. Micheletti wrote.
Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 a share and pledging to loosen controls on the company’s content and remove fake accounts.
Shares of Twitter closed at $41 on Wednesday, well above a 52-week high of $69.81.
Mr Musk signaled in July that he wanted to back out of the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to keep him in the “seller-friendly” arrangement.
Mr Musk says Twitter has failed to provide him with enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service. Twitter says Mr. Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker and solar power company Tesla Inc., is deliberately trying to close the deal because market conditions have worsened and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.
Either Mr. Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion breakup fee if the other party is found liable for the deal’s failure. But Twitter wants more and is seeking a court order for “specific performance” ordering Mr Musk to complete the deal.