A Delaware court has granted a partial win to Twitter in its legal battle with Elon Musk by ordering that the trial to settle their acrimonious divorce will happen by October.
Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the presiding judge in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, ruled that the court case between the two sides will proceed “in the next 60 to 90 days.”
That’s a timeline that takes things to roughly September or October. Twitter has originally asked for a very quick, four-day trial that would start in September, while Musk’s lawyers were asking for a court date some time in February, which could take up to a year to complete.
The judge’s ruling is much closer to the timeline that the company was asking for.
The two sides are facing off in court over their high profile but ultimately unsuccessful takeover. In April, Musk proposed to buy the social media company for more than $44 billion, due to concerns that the company wasn’t valuing free speech the way he’d like them to.
Over the weeks that followed, however, Musk started to have second thoughts. He says he walked away from the deal because Twitter has failed to provide adequate information about the number of fake, or “spam bot,” Twitter accounts, and that it has breached its obligations under the deal by firing top managers and laying off a significant number of employees.
Twitter in turn accuses Musk of being insincere from the start and merely showing interest in buying the company as a publicity stunt.
“It’s attempted sabotage. He’s doing his best to run Twitter down,” Twitter’s lawyer William Savitt told the judge
Musk’s lawyer Andrew Rossman says the idea that Musk wants to sabotage the company is “preposterous” because he is the second-largest shareholder in the company, owning more than the company’s board itself does.
“He has no interest in damaging the company,” Rossman said.
While both sides are seeking financial damages for the failed deal, Twitter specifically is asking the court to rule on the issue quickly, since the uncertainty and messiness is overhanging the company’s stock price. Twitter shares are currently worth less than $40 each — well below Musk’s offer.
More to come