Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Court rules Elon Musk can amend Twitter claims

The court ejected Mr Musk’s plea to stall the trial by four weeks.

• September 8, 2022
Elon Musk and Twitter
Elon Musk and Twitter

The Chancery Court has ruled that Tesla CEO Elon Musk can include new evidence from Twitter whistleblower Pieter Zatko to bolster his case and walk away from his $44 billion Twitter buyout deal.

The court, however, said Mr Musk could not delay the October trial.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Kathaleen St Jude McCormick, the head judge of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, rejected Mr Musk’s plea to stall the trial by four weeks. 

“The longer the delay until trial, the greater the risk of irreparable harm to Twitter,” Ms McCormick said, noting the company “has been forced for months to manage under the constraints of a repudiated merger agreement.”

The five-day trial is to start on October 17 in the Delaware court.

However, Ms McCormick has allowed evidence related to whistleblower allegations by Mr Zatko, who is to testify at Congress next week about the company’s poor cybersecurity practices.

Last week, Mr Musk sent an additional letter of deal termination to Twitter after executing a subpoena to Mr Zatko seeking documents on how the social media company measures spam accounts.

Mr Zatko accused the social media platform of “extreme, egregious deficiencies” in its practices around spam and hacker attacks, adding that Twitter infringed the terms of an 11-year-old settlement with the Federal Trade Commission by falsely claiming it had a solid security plan.

In July, Twitter sued Mr Musk, asking the Delaware court to compel him to go through with his April agreement to buy the company for $54.20 a share.

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