Twitter on Tuesday sued billionaire Elon Musk for violating the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform.
The company approached a court in Delaware to order Musk to complete the merger at the agreed $54.20 per Twitter share, according to a filing.
On July 9, Musk announced that he was terminating the deal to buy Twitter, claiming that the microblogging platform had breached the buyout agreement on multiple counts.
The Tesla chief executive officer said that he took the decision as Twitter did not provide enough information about the number of spam and fake accounts on its platform.
On April 26, the microblogging platform had said in a regulatory filing that Musk would buy Twitter for about $44 billion (over Rs 3,36,910 crore).
However, on May 13, Musk tweeted that the deal was on hold “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
In Tuesday’s lawsuit, the company accused Musk of “a long list” of violations of the merger agreement that “have cast a pall over Twitter and its business”.
“Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he – unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law – is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away,” the lawsuit said.
Twitter also alleged that Musk wanted to exit the deal because changes in the stock market reduced his wealth. Shares of Tesla have fallen by over 30% since Musk announced his decision to buy Twitter in April, according to Reuters.
The social media platform claimed that Musk’s complaint of spam and fake accounts was a pretext to get out of the agreement.
“Musk wanted an escape,” Twitter said in its lawsuit. “But the merger agreement left him little room…He was well aware when he signed the merger agreement that spam [accounts] accounted for some portion of Twitter.”
In a separate filing, Twitter also asked the court to schedule a four-day trial in mid-September, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, minutes after reports of the lawsuit by Twitter surfaced, Musk took to the microblogging site and wrote: “Oh the irony lol.”
He, however, did not mention the lawsuit directly.