Twitter on Thursday dismissed claims by billionaire Elon Musk that he was deceived into signing a deal to the buy social media company.
In a filing before a Delaware court, Twitter said that Musk’s story to back out of the deal is “implausible and contrary to fact”.
“And it is just that – a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market – and along with it, his massive personal wealth – declined in value,” the social media company said.
Twitter sued Musk on July 12 after the billionaire backed out of its $44 billion deal (over Rs 3,36,910 crore) to buy the social media company.
Musk had announced on July 9 that he was terminating the deal to buy Twitter, claiming that the microblogging platform had breached the buyout agreement on multiple counts. The Tesla CEO 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 May 13, Musk had tweeted that the deal was on hold “pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”.
Last week, Musk filed the counterclaims to the suit, essentially accusing Twitter to misleading its investors about the “key metrics” of the company, including the details about the fake accounts. The trial will begin on October 17.
In response to Musk’s claims before the Delaware court, Twitter claimed that it has only worked in interests of its stockholders and accused the billionaire of trying to repudiate the acquisition deal.
“As to Musk’s claim that Twitter has played ‘hide-and-seek,’ the truth is the exact opposite – Musk has received massive amounts of information from Twitter, for months, and has been unable to find a valid excuse to back out of the contract,” it said.
On Musk’s assertion that he has the right to walk away from the deal because Twitter did not disclose the number of fake accounts, the social media company said that the argument was incorrect as facts and the merger agreement say otherwise.
Twitter submitted that neither did Musk ask the company for details about the fake account when offering to buy the platform not the merger agreement has any mentions about it.
“To the contrary, Musk forwent all due diligence – giving Twitter twenty-four hours to accept his take-it-or-leave-it offer before he would present it directly to Twitter’s stockholders,” the company said.
It added: “Musk’s counterclaims, based as they are on distortion, misrepresentation, and outright deception, change nothing. Musk signed and is obligated to consummate the merger agreement. Twitter is entitled to specific performance.”