Elon Musk filed a countersuit against Twitter on Friday, intensifying his legal battle with the social media company over its abandoned $44 billion deal to take over the site.
The 164-page complaint was filed under seal just before the judge’s 5 p.m. deadline, so its contents were not immediately visible to the public. According to court rules, a partially redacted version could be available next week.
The Post first reported on Musk’s plans for the countersuit, which was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
“I have reviewed the counterclaims and declare that the matter contained therein as it relates to my acts and acts is true, and as far as it relates to the acts and acts of any other person, I believe that it is true,” said an attendant. filing signed by Musk.
Twitter shares were down 0.3% on the news.
Twitter spokesperson Brian Poliakoff declined to comment on the countersuit.
JB Heaton, an investment researcher and former corporate lawyer, told The Post that Musk’s countersuit was likely filed under seal because it includes information that Twitter shared with Musk under an agreement to non-disclosure or other restrictions.
“It’s almost certainly because they’re including facts they got under a privacy expectation from Twitter,” Heaton said.
Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick will likely get the two sides to agree on a partially redacted version that could be made public within a week, according to Heaton.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk’s countersuit includes a reference to a famous Warren Buffett quote: “It’s not until the tide goes out that you find out who’s been swimming naked.”
The quote is an apparent nod to Musk’s accusation that Twitter hid a fake account problem, according to the Journal.
The news comes as Musk and Twitter prepare for an upcoming trial in the social media site’s lawsuit against the mogul for backing out of his $44 billion takeover deal.
Twitter wants to force Musk to stick with its original deal to buy the site at $54.20 per share, while Musk wants out of the deal over alleged concerns about fake accounts.
At a hearing last week, McCormick granted Twitter’s request for an expedited trial — and on Friday she finalized plans for a five-day trial beginning Oct. 17.
Musk’s lawyers had wanted the trial to start in February 2023 at the earliest, arguing that his team needed more time to investigate the fake accounts on the site.
“The longer the merger transaction remains in limbo, the greater the cloud of uncertainty over the company,” McCormick said when granting Twitter’s expedited trial request.
Twitter is seeking to force Musk into its deal to buy the company for $54.20 a share, but the company’s shares were trading at $41.50 after market Friday, indicating investors are skeptical to the victory of society.
Many legal analysts have said Twitter has a strong case against the world’s richest man, but Delaware courts may not be inclined to force Musk to take over a site he doesn’t want. Instead, the company can agree to a lower takeover price or reach a settlement with Musk.
Musk initially said he was pulling out of the deal on July 8, accusing Twitter of violating the merger agreement by misleading him about the number of fake accounts on the site.
Twitter sued a few days later, calling the fake account a distraction and saying Musk was bound by the merger contract to complete the deal at the agreed price.
With post wires