DOVER, Delaware (AP) — A judge ruled Wednesday that Elon Musk’s response to Twitter’s attempt to withdraw from a lawsuit to buy the social media company for $44 billion will be released no later than Friday night .
Musk’s lawyers hope to file a public version of their answer and counterclaim in Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter’s lawyers complained that they needed more time to review and possibly revise Musk’s sealed document, saying it made “extensive” references to internal Twitter messages and data provided to Musk.
Prime Minister Kathryn St. Jude McCormick held a quick conference call on Wednesday and later agreed to Twitter, directing that the public documents be filed by 5 p.m. Friday. Depending on when Twitter lawyers complete their review, it could be filed sooner.
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Twitter lawyers argue that court rules require five business days to pass before Musk’s filing of a public version.
Twitter lawyer Kevin Shannon wrote: “Few cases have captured the public interest as this one, and Twitter is mindful of this court’s commitment to ensuring maximum public participation in its proceedings.” “Twitter has no interest in the defendants. any unnecessary amendments made in response to the request.”
Musk’s lawyer, Edward Micheletti, argued that Twitter’s lawyers misunderstood the court rules. Musk’s lawyers also said there was no confidential information in Musk’s filing that should be withheld from the public.
“Twitter should not be allowed to continue to cover up stories it doesn’t want to disclose publicly,” Micheletti wrote.
Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private for $54.20 a share, vowing to loosen the company’s regulations on content and root out fake accounts.
Twitter shares closed Wednesday at $41, well below a 52-week high of $69.81.
Musk said in July that he wanted to back out of the deal, prompting Twitter to sue him for a “seller-friendly” agreement.
Musk said Twitter failed to provide him with enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service. Twitter believes Musk, CEO of electric car maker and solar company Tesla Inc, is deliberately trying to block the deal because market conditions have soured and the acquisition is no longer in his interest.
Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion breakup fee if the other party is found responsible for the failure of the agreement. Twitter wants more, however, and is seeking a “performance-specific” court order directing Musk to complete the deal.