Twitter has rejected Elon Musk’s allegations in a Delaware court that he was deceived into signing a deal to buy the social media company, saying it was “improperly believable and untrue.”
Musk made these allegations in a counterclaim he filed a week ago, which was not announced until Thursday.
“According to Musk, the multi-corporate billionaire co-founder of Wall Street bankers and lawyers was tricked into signing a $44 billion merger agreement,” Twitter said. This story is as implausible and untrue as it appears.”
It is the latest chapter in what could be a major legal showdown between the world’s richest person and the social media giant.
Both sides are heading to trial on October 17 after Musk sought to abandon the Twitter takeover deal over what he says are false allegations related to false accounts on the site.
The San Francisco-based company is trying to force Musk to complete the deal, accusing him of sabotaging it because it no longer serves his interests.
In the counter-suit revealed Thursday, Musk accuses Twitter of intensifying efforts to conceal the true number of users of the platform, as the market deteriorates.
“With a long-running bull market coming to an end… Twitter has learned that providing Musk’s parties with the information it requested” would expose the facts they were hiding, the counter-suit says. Twitter says Musk has provided little evidence to support these “untruthless” claims.
Musk also says that “Twitter’s false claims go much deeper than just providing incorrect numbers” about fake accounts, and that while “Twitter is touting 238 million ‘revenue’ daily active users, users who actually see ads” are about 65 fewer. million.
Twitter confirms that its disclosures regarding these daily active users, who access the site or its applications capable of broadcasting advertisements, are accurate.
Musk, CEO of electric car company Tesla, offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in April, saying he believed in its potential as a global platform for free speech.
But he later turned on Twitter and sought on July 8 to back out of the deal without paying a $1 billion break-up fee, citing Twitter’s failure to provide details of the spread of fake accounts and spam.
Twitter sued him four days later.