The judge that will preside over the legal battle between Twitter and Tesla’s Mr. Money, Elon Musk is expected to commence by Oct. 17th and will end by the 21st of the same month. The news was confirmed by a Delaware Chancery Court on Friday.
For those who missed the news, Elon Musk has decided to pull out of a US$44 Billion deal to acquire Twitter a lot of back and forth between the billionaire and the social media company with Musk accusing Twitter of not being transparent about the number of bots on the platform.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick is the court’s chief judge and she will be the one presiding over the case. Earlier this month, she ruled on Twitter’s request for a four-day trial in September while Musk’s legal team tried to push the trial until Feb. 23rd, 2023.
With the new trial date, both Twitter and Musk sort of met in the middle since the time wasn’t what both parties wanted. However, Twitter on one hand still had an edge as its legal team raised concerns about the potential harm that comes from Musk’s effort to “bully his way” out of the deal.
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McCormick in fact that that the longer a merger transaction remains in limbo, the greater the risk of irreparable harm and she also noted that Musk’s lawyers seem to underestimate the ability of the court to quickly process complex litigation.
The hearing was the first time Musk’s and Twitter’s legal teams faced off in court.
The Feb. 23rd date proposed by Musk’s lawyer Andrew Rossman was so the billionaire could have enough time to verify that fewer than 5% of Twitter’s 229 million daily users are fake or spam accounts.
The data, he said, were crucial in order to understand the social media company’s ad business. Rossman said Musk “has arguably more risk at stake than Twitter does if he ends up being forced to buy this company” and “doesn’t have an incentive to keep this hanging for a long time.”
But Twitter’s legal representative Bill Savitt pushed back against the argument saying the company has pointed out that there are caveats to the data that note the number of spam accounts could be higher.
Due to the back and forth and Musk losing interest in the purchase due to either party not coming to a conclusion, Twitter decided to sue the billionaire in an attempt to force him to complete the purchase while accusing him of making information requests that were designed to try to tank the deal.
The company alleges in the lawsuit that the reason the billionaire wants to back out of the deal is that his personal wealth has fallen, making it more expensive for him to acquire the company.
In a related development, Musk filed a countersuit on Friday. Details of Musk’s suit have been kept confidential but could be publicly available next week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The countersuit was expected.