Twitter accused Elon Musk of creating a “new set of excuses” to avoid honoring his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company, calling his recently filed objections “implausible and contrary to fact.”
After Twitter sued Musk last month To force the deal, Musk filed a countersuit last week trying to block the social media company’s effort, which is still sealed. A judge ordered his release on Friday.
Twitter made his rebuttals to the Tesla CEO’s legal case public on Thursday in a court filing shared by Bret Taylor, chairman of the social media group’s board.
In his counterattack, Musk Twitter again claimed that it had breached the agreement by grossly underestimating the proportion of spam and bots on its platform. The billionaire’s own analysis estimated the number of bot or spam accounts to be at least 10 percent of all users. Twitter has previously estimated that bots make up less than 5 percent of accounts.
Musk also claimed that Twitter has exaggerated how many of its users are monetizable, claiming that the number of users who actually saw advertising on the service was “about 65 million fewer” than the company represented in regulatory filings. Musk has claimed that only about 16 million users were seeing the “majority” of the advertising.
Twitter responded by calling Musk’s estimates “truly inaccurate, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant.”
He said the methodology behind Musk’s estimates was “on the face of it untenable” and “wasn’t measuring the same thing as Twitter or even using the same data as Twitter.”
The company disputed the veracity of Musk’s data, claiming that a tool purportedly used to analyze the data had labeled the billionaire’s own account a “likely bot.”
Twitter concluded: “Musk’s counterclaims, based as they are on distortion, misrepresentation and outright deception, change nothing.”
In addition to the presentations, both parties seek additional information on the formulation of the agreement.
musk has quoted Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase for details of how they advised Twitter, requesting any documents detailing financial performance, discussions with the company about the deal and any analysis of its valuation.
Meanwhile, Twitter has sent requests for information to the banks handling Musk’s financing of the deal, as well as to co-investors and others in the billionaire’s orbit.
As the dispute with Twitter escalates and heads to a expedited court date october 17Musk is also facing questions from Tesla fans and shareholders about his role as CEO of the electric carmaker.
At Tesla’s annual meeting on Thursday, Musk addressed several questions related to the Twitter dispute, saying he had “a good idea of where to direct the Twitter engineering team to radically improve it.”
When asked what would happen to Tesla if he left or split his time, Musk said, “I think Tesla would still do very well even if he was abducted by aliens or returned to my home planet.”
Additional reporting by Richard Waters in San Francisco