Elon Musk seeks to delay Twitter lawsuit in light of whistleblower complaint

The case is currently set to go to trial in Delaware Chancery Court for five days beginning Oct. 17, after a judge ruled that the uncertainty of a protracted legal process threatened “irreparable harm” to Twitter (TWTR).

But in a court filing on Monday, Musk’s team offered a new schedule, with the trial taking place in November, depending on court availability. Included in the attachments to the motion, one of which was sealed, was a copy of former Twitter security chief and whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko’s disclosure, which was reported for the first reported by CNN and the Washington Post last week.

Musk’s team also asked the court for an opportunity to update their counterclaims and response to Twitter’s original complaint, which accuses the billionaire of breaching the agreement and is asking a court to compel him to follow through on the agreement.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business that the company remains “committed to completing the transaction at the price and terms agreed to with Mr. Musk. We have not breached any of our representations or obligations under the agreed, and did not suffer”. and are not likely to be materially adverse to the company. ยป

The motion to postpone the lawsuit comes after Musk sent a letter to Twitter on Monday citing Zatko’s disclosure as further justification to terminate the acquisition. The letter claims that if the allegations are true, Twitter has violated its part of the agreement.

In their previous decision to cancel the deal, Musk and his team accused the company of violating the agreement by lying about the number of bots on its platform and not disclosing the information that Musk said. needed to assess the problem.

Zatko’s Revelation alleged, in addition to the company’s alleged security breaches, that Twitter violates its 2011 consent order with the Federal Trade Commission; that it has violated intellectual property rights; that there is a lack of incentives to properly measure spam and fake accounts on the platform; and that executives misled the board and regulators. Twitter criticized Zatko and largely pushed back against his claims.

In response to Musk, Twitter sent its own letter on Tuesday rejecting its latest attempt to rescind the deal, calling it “invalid and wrongful.” Musk’s letter, Twitter wrote, “is based solely on statements made by a third party which, as Twitter has previously stated, are riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lack significant context.”

The postponement request is the latest sign of the impact of the whistleblower’s disclosure on the legal battle. Zatko was also subpoena by Musk’s legal team and is scheduled to appear for deposition on September 9.

“Mr. Zatko will comply with his legal obligations of this subpoena and his appearance at the deposition is involuntary,” Zatko’s attorneys Debra Katz and Alexis Ronickher said in a statement Monday. “He did not make his disclosures to the appropriate government bodies to benefit Musk or to harm Twitter, but rather to protect the American public and Twitter shareholders.”

Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, told CNN last week that they subpoenaed Zatko in the case even before his whistleblower complaint became public. During a hearing in the case last Wednesday, Spiro mentioned Zatko several times. Spiro suggested during the hearing that the billionaire’s team didn’t trust Twitter’s estimate for spam accounts and monetizable daily active users (mDAU), a key metric it provides to investors, and said Musk’s team was requesting information that would allow them to test the measures.

Zatko is also expected to testify before a Senate audience September 13.

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