Twitter awarded small victory against Elon Musk as judge sets October trial

Elon Musk's Twitter account
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

Update (July 19, 2:45 pm ET): Twitter wins small victory with October court date set.

  • Elon Musk has responded to Twitter's lawsuit.
  • Musk's lawyers want to postpone the four-day trial scheduled for September.
  • Twitter previously sued the Tesla CEO for deciding to terminate his $44 billion acquisition bid.

Twitter's legal tussle with Elon Musk is just building up after suing the latter for backing out of his $44 billion bid to buy the company. On Friday, Musk's lawyers responded to Twitter's lawsuit, seeking to delay its hearing scheduled for September.

Musk's lawyers have retorted to Twitter's demand for a four-day trial in September, pushing to defer it until at least February 23, 2023, according to Bloomberg (opens in new tab). In a filing, Musk's legal team described the September hearing as an attempt to "to shroud the truth about spam accounts long enough to railroad defendants into closing."

Earlier this week, Twitter sued Musk after he decided to terminate the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. The company also asked a Delaware court to order Musk to complete the merger agreement. 

Musk previously notified the company that he was canceling the deal due to its failure to disclose data on the number of spam or bot accounts on the platform. Specifically, the Tesla CEO has been asking Twitter to verify its claim that spam accounts only make up less than 5% of the platform's total daily active users.

In May — a month after Musk's takeover bid was accepted by Twitter's board — the deal was put on hold after Musk raised doubts over the platform's declared spam bot account numbers. At the time, however, he reiterated that he was still committed to the acquisition.

A month later, he threatened to terminate the agreement due to Twitter's lack of transparency regarding its fake account problems. Musk believes that the number of spam or fake accounts on the platform is much higher than what the company has disclosed to the public.

Twitter filed a motion on Tuesday asking the Delaware court to enforce the agreement in order to prevent harm to its shareholders and the company itself from Musk's intention to walk away from the deal.

Delaware Chancery Court chief judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick has scheduled a hearing on July 19 to hear Twitter's request for a September trial. But even if Musk succeeds in bailing on the deal, he is still obliged to pay Twitter a $1 billion breakup fee.

Twitter did not respond to Android Central's request for comment.

Update

On July 19, Chancellor Kathleen McCormick ruled that a trial would take place over a five-day period in October. According to CNN, McCormick stated that delaying the trial until next year, as Musk's team has requested, "threatens irreparable harm [to Twitter]" and that there would be greater risk the longer they waited.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.