Last Friday, Elon Musk announced that he was ending his deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion dollars. While this was not unsurprising coming from Musk, Twitter is now suing the billionaire, alleging that he cannot walk away from the deal at this point.
Originally, Musk announced he would purchase Twitter in April, but the deal was kept on hold – according to himself – because he was waiting for Twitter to reveal information regarding the number of fake and spam accounts on the platform. This is supposedly the same reason why Musk claims he’s backing out of the deal now.
The lawsuit claims that Musk had already signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, meaning he cannot end the deal without consequences – especially since Twitter lost stock market value after Musk went public with the deal.
Musk’s own Tesla company also lost quite a bit in stocks, which the lawsuit points out as a likely reason for Musk’s decision to back out. "Rather than bear the cost of the market downturn, as the merger agreement requires, [Mr] Musk wants to shift it to Twitter's stockholders," the lawsuit explains.
To make matters worse, Musk has been causing an absolute riot on Twitter.
Ever since he announced the deal was over for him and Twitter took action in court, he has taken every opportunity to mock the platform – ironically, by using the platform itself, where he has over 100 million followers.
Among the series of posts, he posted a meme template of himself laughing at the “irony” that Twitter didn’t want to disclose fake and spam accounts info to him, but will now have to do it in court to defend themselves.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal posted a short thread explaining publicly that the information Musk wants cannot be shared. “Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share).” – Source: Twitter
Musk replied to the thread with a poop emoji.
While the validity of Agrawal’s claim has been debated, Musk’s childish replies almost confirm what many were thinking as soon as he announced the purchase back in April – that he never intended to complete it in the first place.
Now, Twitter is looking to either secure the $1 billion break fee or enforce the $44 billion agreement in court. Their case is that Musk breached the deal he had already agreed on, along with damaging Twitter’s reputation after making a “public spectacle” (which caused a drop in market value for the company).
Musk’s legal team is countering on the basis that Twitter failed to provide information on the number of fake and bot accounts on the platform, that they misrepresented this number to US financial watchdogs, and that the company breached their agreement by firing senior employees without consulting with Musk.
He claims he should have been consulted because he already owned over $2 billion in shares (totaling 9.2% of the company) before his attempt to purchase the company, making him one of their largest shareholders. Apparently, he was offered a place on the company’s board but refused to just outright buy it instead.
Obviously, Twitter wants the deal to go through despite their disliking of Musk’s antics, but it’s hard to guess which way it will go before further developments.