Elon Musk urged bankers to slow Twitter deal on war risk

by IANS |


Twitter Inc.’s lawyers are using Elon Musk’s text messages to try to convince a Delaware judge that the billionaire wants to abandon his $44 billion deal to acquire the company because of buyer’s remorse, rather than concern about the social network’s spam or bot accounts.

Bill Savitt, an attorney for Twitter, brought up a text message between Musk and one of his bankers as evidence during a Chancery Court hearing Tuesday. In the message from May 8, Musk asked the banker to slow down the deal process until after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech the following day, during which Putin defended his decision to invade Ukraine.

“It won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War III,” Musk wrote. He had already agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion two weeks earlier.


Tuesday’s hearing before Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick focused on Musk’s request to delay the trial, now set for Oct. 17, following a whistle-blower’s allegations that Twitter misled investors about spam and bot accounts -- an assertion that is at the center of Musk’s effort to walk away from the agreement. The judge is expected to hand down the decision on the matter later this week.


The San Francisco-based social network is seeking to compel Musk to complete his proposed buyout after he backed away from the deal, claiming Twitter hadn’t leveled with him about the quality of accounts and posts on its service. Twitter argues that Musk’s reason for walking away from his takeover of the social networking company is due to a broader market decline tied, in part, to Putin’s war in Ukraine.Musk, meanwhile, contends that fake users and spam accounts make up a much larger portion of Twitter’s daily active user base than the company lets on, giving him grounds to cancel his planned acquisition.

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