DOVER, Del. – Elon Musk’s response to Twitter’s lawsuit over his attempt to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company will be made public no later than Friday night, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Musk’s attorneys wanted to file a public version of their response and counterclaims in the Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter TWTR,
Lawyers complained that they needed more time to review and possibly redact Musk’s sealed file, saying it “largely” relied on internal Twitter information and data provided to Musk.
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick held a quick conference call Wednesday before agreeing with Twitter, ordering the public record to be filed by 5 p.m. Friday. It could be filed sooner depending on when Twitter’s attorneys complete their review.
Twitter lawyers argued that court rules require five business days to pass before a public version of Musk’s case is filed.
“Few cases capture as much public interest as this one, and Twitter recognizes this tribunal’s commitment to ensuring maximum public access to its proceedings,” Twitter attorney Kevin Shannon wrote. “Twitter has no interest in offering more redactions to the defendants’ sensitive pleadings than necessary.”
Musk’s attorney, Edward Micheletti, argued that Twitter’s attorneys were misinterpreting the court’s rules. Musk’s attorneys also said there was no confidential information in Musk’s file that should be withheld from the public.
“Twitter shouldn’t be allowed to continue burying the side of the story it doesn’t want to go public,” Micheletti wrote.
Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 a share and pledging to ease the company’s control of content and weed out fakes accounts.
Twitter shares closed Wednesday at $41, a far cry from a 52-week high of $69.81.
Musk, indicated in July that he wanted out of the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to hold him to the “seller-friendly” deal.
Musk says Twitter hasn’t given him enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service. Twitter claims that Musk, CEO of electric car maker and solar energy company Tesla Inc. TSLA,
deliberately tries to frustrate the transaction because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves its interests.
Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion severance fee if the other party is found to be responsible for the failure of the deal. However, Twitter wants more and is seeking a “specific performance” court order ordering Musk to follow through on the deal.