In the legal tug of war between Twitter and tech billionaire Elon Musk, a week-long extension is becoming apparent. The court case between Twitter and Musk was stayed by the responsible judge until October 28th. If the Tesla boss has not completed the roughly $44 billion (45 billion euro) takeover of the short message service by then, the parties to the dispute will have to prepare for a trial in November.
With the judge's decision on Thursday, the start of the trial scheduled for October 17 is off the table. Musk, who wanted to get out of the deal for months, surprisingly confirmed his original offer for Twitter on Tuesday. In doing so, he apparently paved the way for a spectacular turnaround in the tough takeover dispute. But since then it has become clear that the distrust on Twitter's side runs deep and the online service no longer wants to take any risks.
First attacks instead of approach
The star entrepreneur and Twitter are still at odds over important details that need to be worked out in order to finalize the deal. Instead of a rapprochement, there have recently been new attacks, so there is still uncertainty about the completion of the transaction. Musk's attorneys on Thursday moved to have the case halted and the case dismissed. Twitter immediately submitted a counter-motion in which the company clearly denied this. The judge then set a deadline for the parties to the dispute to clarify the differences.
Twitter lawyers: "Invitation for further mischief"
In the counter-motion, the lawyers for the online platform made it clear that they no longer trusted Musk after months of maneuvering to cancel the purchase. The obstacle isn't that Twitter won't take a "yes" for an answer, but that Musk still refuses to stand by his contractual purchase commitments. Musk wants to implement a plan that allows him, based on certain reservations, to delay the conclusion of the deal at will and to obtain legal certainty in the event of a failure.
"Trust us, we're really serious this time," Twitter lawyers summarized Musk's position in the countermotion. But this is "an invitation for further mischief and delays". They argued that Musk should close the deal by next week at the latest.
The star entrepreneur submitted a purchase offer for Twitter in the spring and concluded a takeover agreement with the board of directors of the online service. Only a few weeks later, however, it became apparent that Musk wanted to get out of the deal - which he officially initiated in July. As a reason, he accused Twitter of having given incorrect information about the number of fake and automated bot accounts. Twitter went to court to force Musk to comply with the takeover deal - and observers largely assumed that the online service for the process had the better arguments on its side.