Twitter-Musk drama escalates in criminal filings claiming unhealthy habits

The Twitter-Elon Musk saga endured this week, as the 2 events traded barbs in criminal filings forward of a five-day trial that is scheduled to begin Oct. 17.

Newly launched criminal paperwork from attorneys representing Musk in a countersuit in opposition to Twitter declare the social media corporate engaged in a scheme to “misinform buyers” via offering false numbers in monetary filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk fees Twitter’s platform has a minimum of double the choice of bots the corporate claims in SEC filings and less “monetizable day-to-day lively customers” than claimed.

Twitter answered that the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is making flawed assumptions, and searching for an excuse to again out of his $44 billion agreement in April to shop for the social community.

Both facets are construction their circumstances within the run-up to the Delaware courtroom date set to resolve the dispute over whether or not Musk has to observe thru with the deal.

The drama started in early April, when Musk disclosed a vital stake in Twitter. After first agreeing to sign up for Twitter’s board, he reversed direction and as a substitute introduced to shop for the corporate or promote his holdings.

Twitter was once first of all antagonistic to the deal, and sought every other course, however in the end got here to an settlement to promote to Musk for round $54.20 consistent with proportion. But then, with the marketplace tanking and Twitter’s proportion worth happening, Musk began badmouthing Twitter in public in a transparent effort to get out of the deal.

Here’s a rundown of the newest tendencies in response to new, and a few prior to now confidential, filings to the courtroom from each events:

Numbers ‘a long way from true’

In a criminal submitting, Musk accused Twitter of together with statements in its SEC disclosures that “have been a long way from true.” Through his company legislation company Skadden-Arps, Musk stated the social media corporate is “miscounting the choice of false and junk mail accounts on its platform” to provide a rosy image to buyers.

Musk has complained about scams, junk mail and bots on Twitter for years.

In a press release saying his settlement to shop for Twitter, Musk wrote that “defeating the junk mail bots” was once one in every of his targets and motivations for taking on the corporate.

Twitter answered in a separate submitting within the Delaware courtroom this week that Musk and his workforce have “spent months seeking to invent a junk mail disclosure drawback and feature discovered not anything.”

Ill-defined metrics

Musk’s legal professionals additionally stated of their countersuit that Twitter’s “monetizable day-to-day lively customers,” or mDAU, are “no longer as carefully tied to earnings as Twitter leads the general public to imagine.” They allege that Twitter does no longer as it should be give an explanation for to shareholders or to Musk how they derive the important thing metric of mDAU.

In reaction, Twitter stated that Musk by no means introduced up issues about mDAU as a reason why to terminate the deal.

Musk’s allegations about deceptive mDAU statistics “are a newly invented litigating place,” Twitter’s attorneys wrote. In addition, Twitter stated it “as it should be discloses in its SEC filings” the way it defines the mDAU metric and its importance to the corporate. 

Reliance on filings

Musk stated, in his countersuit, that he trusted Twitter’s SEC filings to determine information about the social community’s trade and demanding situations.

What Musk does not say is that he is been pals for years with former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. As CNBC reported in January 2020, the 2 executives even exchanged concepts about reinforce Twitter.

Musk additionally has a longstanding trade dating with Silver Lake, a monetary company run partially via Twitter board member Egon Durban. Silver Lake was once a large and early backer of SolarCity, the place Musk served as chair, and was once reportedly one of the most corporations advising Musk when he stated he was once taking into account taking Tesla private for $420 a proportion, and had “investment secured” to take action.  

Twitter reiterated in its filings that the corporate’s “SEC disclosures are correct” and that corporate “misrepresented not anything.” Twitter stated Musk’s claims “aren’t supported via any info.”

“Musk sought an pressing deal, undertook no due diligence, and introduced a self-described ‘vendor pleasant’ merger settlement that contained no representations about false or junk mail accounts or mDAU,” the Twitter attorneys wrote.


Musk stated Twitter rebuffed his workforce, failing at hand over asked and essential details about bots and junk mail at the platform. The grievance does not point out that Musk has stated he might get started a competing social media platform.

Twitter legal professionals alleged that “Musk invents representations Twitter by no means made after which tries to wield, selectively, the intensive confidential knowledge Twitter equipped him to conjure a breach of the ones purported representations.”

The attorneys stated that Musk “incoherently asserts” that Twitter “breached the merger settlement via stonewalling his knowledge requests.”

Double the bots

In accusing Twitter of getting a minimum of two times as many bots on its platform as the corporate disclosed, Musk’s workforce trusted “accounts visual at the Firehose the usage of the University of Indiana Botometer instrument,” the counterclaim says.

Twitter puzzled Musk’s strategies of examining junk mail and bots, in particular the usage of the Botometer instrument. The attorneys wrote that the instrument “applies other requirements than Twitter does and which previous this yr designated Musk himself as highly likely to be a bot.”

WATCH: Twitter legal team subpoenas Elon Musk associates related to deal breakup

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