Held on Zoom, the first hearing in the Twitter v. Musk ruled in favor of the social network. The Delaware Court of Justice refused to postpone the trial to 2023, as Elon Musk requested.
After the engagement usually comes the wedding, Twitter and Elon Musk are already in the divorce. Tuesday, July 19, the Court of Justice of Delaware, the state chosen by Twitter to sue Elon Musk, organized the first hearing of what promises to be one of the most publicized legal events of the year. This preliminary session was intended to determine the terms of the trial, while Twitter and Elon Musk bicker over dates. The social network is asking for a quick trial, in three months, the billionaire wants to postpone it as late as possible, ideally after February 2023. Justice has ruled in favor of Twitter.
The argument of fake accounts does not pass
Throughout the hearing, which took place on Zoom due to a case of Covid, Twitter and representatives of Elon Musk continued to highlight their disagreements. We were able to listen to the hearing using a telephone line available to the public, here is a quick summary:
For Twitter, Elon Musk tries to “sink the business”. The social network requests a trial in 62 days, while the Court of Delaware has a habit of honoring requests within a window of 60-75 days. Company representatives denounced the lies of Elon Musk who keeps talking about fake accounts so as not to assume that he does not intend to keep any promises, while regretting his defamatory tweets against the company.
On Musk’s side, we once again put forward the argument of false accounts. It will take time to verify if Twitter has less than 5% fake accounts, as he claims, so the entrepreneur thinks the lawsuit cannot take place before February (his lawyers have even put forward periods of 2 at 3 years old, to explain that they were rather lenient towards Twitter). The Musk camp speaks of a “massive amount of data to analyze” and claims that Twitter aimed to complete the acquisition on April 25, 2023. In other words, a lawsuit in February would be a gift for the social network and would not hurt it. The Musk camp is also defending itself on defamatory tweets, assuring that Twitter only complained about it after the withdrawal of Elon Musk. He also thinks Twitter’s two-day filing deadline was too long.
Worse, Elon Musk’s team accuses Twitter of creating this situation by going to the media and refusing to tell the truth about bots. He wants to make this case the lawsuit against fake accounts, a subject presented as “complex and important”, rather than the trial of Elon Musk. This is called a nice turnaround.
For Twitter, these requests from Elon Musk are news “invention to complicate” the folder. This trial should not be about fake accounts, especially since Twitter has questioned the seriousness of Elon Musk since the start of the takeover. The company is worried about the real intentions of the boss of Tesla and SpaceX and wonders if his goal was not to obtain data on Twitter, to clone him…
A 5-day trial in October
After 15 minutes of reflection, the Delaware Court of Justice announced that it ruled in favor of Twitter. In a rather harsh speech to Elon Musk, whom she accuses of having caused “irreversible damage” on Twitter, the judge explained that this type of trial usually takes place within 60-70 days, which is close to Twitter’s request (62 days). She also mocked Elon Musk’s lawyers, indicating that she trusted them to succeed in preparing this file in this constrained period. The judge also thinks that a period of 2 days to file a complaint is normal and that Elon Musk’s arguments are inadmissible.
October is when the Twitter v. Musk, in a 5-day express window. This is a colossal victory for Twitter, which dismisses the trail of the lawsuit against the fake accounts, which would have lasted much longer (but which was unlikely). For Elon Musk, this is very bad news. The billionaire could be forced to change strategy if he hopes not to completely lose control of this file. So far, things are going badly…