Twitter is suing Elon Musk to force him into a takeover

The legal battle is on. Twitter filed lawsuits on Tuesday, July 12, against Elon Musk to force the boss of Tesla to keep his commitment to buy the social network according to the terms agreed at the end of April, which valued the Californian group at 44 billion dollars (44 billion euros). euro).

A judge from a court specializing in business law, in the state of Delaware (eastern United States), will therefore have to determine whether or not the multi-billionaire can terminate the acquisition agreement which provides for compensation. billion dollar break.

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“Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the agreement he signed no longer serves his personal interests”is it written in the complaint filed by Twitter.

The boss of Tesla and founder of SpaceX said on Friday, July 8, in a document sent to the American stock market authorities, that he refused to buy the social network Twitter, accusing the company of having provided data “false and misleading” on the number of fake or dormant accounts.

Twitter has repeated in recent weeks that the number of fake accounts on its platform is less than 5%. The multi-billionaire and his team believe that the network is lying and that it affects the viability of his business – and therefore the value of the company.

“Having staged a public spectacle to put Twitter on the line, and having offered and then signed a seller-friendly deal, Musk apparently believes that he – unlike all other parties subject to Delaware contract law – is free to change his mind. notice, defame the company, disrupt its business, destroy the value of its shares and walk away”attacks the document.

Musk accused to have acted in bad faith

Despite his immense personal fortune, the billionaire had to put in place a complex financial package to try to acquire Twitter, based in particular on large loans secured on Tesla shares. However, the value of these securities had fallen following the announcement of the attempted takeover of Twitter, investors considering that the automaker would no longer be Mr. Musk’s priority if he bought the social network.

Read also: Twitter defends its strategy, Musk repeats that the takeover of the social network cannot be done without guarantee on fake accounts

Twitter accuses Elon Musk of having acted in bad faith, accusing him of having requested information about the company in order to then accuse him of providing “misrepresentations” on its activities to regulators and investors.

“He claimed to ‘suspend’ the deal pending fulfillment of imaginary conditions, failed in his obligation to find financing (…)violated its duty of discretion [et] used confidential information for improper purposes”states the complaint.

Elon Musk “has been acting against this agreement since the market started to turn, and he has violated the agreement several times in the process”, is it also written. For the social network, Elon Musk’s tactic is a “model of hypocrisy”. Once the stock market has declined, the American company notes that “Musk changed his narrative, suddenly demanding ‘verification’ that spam was not a serious issue on Twitter’s platform.”

For the company with the blue bird, “Musk’s behavior simply confirms that he wanted to get out of a contract he freely signed, and hurt Twitter in the process”.

“Oh the irony lol”, responded Elon Musk on Twitter on Tuesday.

Twitter stock rebounds on Wall Street

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The takeover project had provoked strong reactions among Twitter employees, most of whom were very critical of a potential new owner who, on several occasions, denounced the social network as leaning too far to the left. A claimed libertarian, Mr. Musk is one of the rare Silicon Valley bosses – but he is now a resident of Texas – to have supported, in part, Donald Trump.

On Friday, the platform’s chairman of the board of directors (CA), Bret Taylor, warned that the CA was “determined to complete the transaction at the agreed price and terms” and intended to prevail in court. Elon Musk has multiplied attacks and mockery against the network, on which he has more than 100 million subscribers.

On Monday, he posted an image with four photos of himself, hilarious, with this caption: “They said I couldn’t buy Twitter. Then they refused to reveal the fake account information. Now they want to force me to take over Twitter in court. Now they are forced to reveal the fake account information. »

Twitter’s complaint alleges that the company “has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm” following Elon Musk’s breaches of contract, which “cast a shadow over Twitter and its activities”.

After hitting its lowest on Wall Street in four months on Monday, Twitter action rebounded on Tuesday (+4.32% to 34.06 dollars).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Only the naive would believe that defending freedom of expression is Elon Musk’s only motivation to buy Twitter”

Le Monde with AP and AFP

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