Twitter Responds to Elon Musk’s Claims, Calling Them an ‘Apology’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter has filed a response to claims by billionaire Elon Musk that he has legitimate reasons for wanting to pull out of his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company.

In an unexpected twist, Twitter was able to file its response to Musk before Musk’s own counterclaims were made public. A judge ruled on Wednesday that Musk’s counterclaim will be made public by Friday.

In a response filed Thursday in Delaware Chancery court, Twitter calls Musk’s reasoning “a story, devised for the purpose of escaping a merger deal that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market – and with it, his enormous personal wealth – dwindled in value.”

“Counterclaims are a tale made for litigation that is contradicted by evidence and common sense,” Twitter’s response read. “Musk invents representations that Twitter has never made and then tries to use, selectively, the extensive confidential data that Twitter has provided to him to ward off a violation of these alleged representations.”

At the same time, according to the response, Musk also accused Twitter of violating their agreement by “blocking” his requests for information.

Representatives for Musk did not immediately return a message for comment on Thursday.

Musk’s attorneys had wanted to file a public version of their response and counterclaims in the Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter lawyers complained they needed more time to review and possibly redact Musk’s sealed case, saying it “largely” referenced internal Twitter information and data provided to Musk.

Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 a share and pledging to ease the company’s control of content and weed out fakes accounts.

But Musk said in July he wanted out of the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to hold him to the “seller-friendly” deal.

Musk says Twitter hasn’t given him enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service. Twitter claims that Musk, CEO of electric car maker and solar energy company Tesla Inc., is deliberately trying to scuttle the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests .

Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion severance fee if the other party is found to be responsible for the failure of the deal. However, Twitter wants more and is seeking a “specific performance” court order ordering Musk to follow through on the deal.

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