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Twitter pushes for speedy trial in latest legal filing

Elon Musk speaks at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. Image, REUTERS, Joe Skipper.

Elon Musk speaks at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. Image, REUTERS, Joe Skipper.

Published Jul 19, 2022

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In a legal filing lobbed against Elon Musk late Monday, Twitter continued to push for an expedited trial, aiming to prevent the billionaire from going on what the company says may be a potentially damaging fishing expedition for internal documents.

The filing comes ahead of a Tuesday live hearing before a judge in the Delaware Chancery Court, kicking off a high-stakes case pitting the world's richest man against the popular social media company.

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It could be resolved in several months - if Twitter gets its wish - or far longer.

Twitter sued Elon Musk last week to force him to make good on his promise to buy the social media company for $44 billion.

Musk has vowed to complete the deal in contracts, which his team says are now invalid because Twitter concealed key information about the level of spam and fake accounts on its service.

Musk has repeatedly claimed that the extent of spam and bots are far more prevalent on the platform than Twitter publicly reports.

Twitter countered that argument by taking Musk to court, arguing it has provided him with extensive information about how it estimates fake accounts and noting that he has yet to find any information to bolster his suspicion, despite receiving reams of data.

Musk says he hasn't received enough information to do an accurate analysis and has pushed for a trial early next year to have enough time to get the appropriate information. Twitter claims the amount of spam and bots make up less than 5% of its 229 million daily active users.

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In Monday's filing, Twitter doubled down on its reasons for a quick trial that would take place in September.

"Musk offers no reason to think discovery must be so expansive that a trial must wait until next year," the document states, adding that his fixation on bots is ultimately a "sideshow" his team is using to prolong the litigation and irrelevant to the contract Musk signed.

In the filing, Twitter echoed the arguments in its initial complaint, in which it begged a judge to stop Musk for further hurting the company.

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"This very public dispute harms Twitter with each passing day Musk is in breach. Musk amplifies this harm by using the Company's own platform as a megaphone to disparage it," it said. "Millions of Twitter shares trade daily under a cloud of Musk-created doubt. No public company of this size and scale has ever had to bear these uncertainties."

The Washington Post

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