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A judge will hear arguments at Twitter Inc’s request. on speeding up a lawsuit against billionaire Elon Musk as the social media platform tries to force him to complete its proposed $44 billion acquisition.
Lawyers for San Francisco-based Twitter say they need just four days to prove the world’s richest man must follow through on his agreement to pay $54.20 a share. The company filed the lawsuit last week and asked for a non-jury trial to begin on September 19.
“The earliest possible trial date is necessary,” Twitter’s lawyers said in a court filing Monday. “This very public dispute is hurting Twitter every day.”
Musk’s legal team said Twitter was unfairly pushing the “warp speed” process. The billionaire says Twitter violated the terms of the buyout agreement by failing to turn over detailed information about so-called spambot accounts in its system. The case requires a “forensic review and analysis of large amounts of data” about the robots, along with other legal issues, Musk’s lawyers said in a filing, seeking a February trial date.
Chief Justice of the Delaware Court of Chancery Kathaleen St. J. McCormick will hear arguments from both sides on Tuesday. The judge, who moved the hearing to Zoom instead of in person after testing positive for Covid-19, is expected to rule at the hearing in Wilmington, which will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Chancery judges in Delaware—the corporate seat of more than half of America’s public companies—are known for being able to wade through the legal thickets of complex M&A disputes more quickly than other American courts. Unlike some states where it can take several years for a case to go to trial, the Delaware Chancery Court generally moves faster and cases are often heard within five or six to seven months of filing.
Musk backed out of the deal to buy the platform on July 8, saying in a regulatory filing that Twitter had made “misleading statements” about the number of bot accounts. Twitter also “failed to honor its contractual obligations” to provide information on how to assess how prevalent bots are on the social media service.
Twitter countered that Musk was asking for information that “doesn’t exist, has already been provided, or is only recently requested.” The billionaire “refuses to live up to his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the agreement he signed no longer serves his personal interests,” Twitter said in the lawsuit.
The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).