Vitter has accused Elon Musk of “looking for any excuse” to get out of a deal to buy the company because the slump in the stock market meant it was no longer favorable for him.
The social media platform has sued Mr Musk to force it to complete a $44bn (£36.2bn) takeover after the Tesla and SpaceX boss said he was backing out.
Mr. Musk’s counterclaims against Twitter have not yet been made public, but a published court filing from the social media site directly responds to several of Mr. Musk’s claims — including one that he accused Twitter of fraud. And accused of hiding the real number of fake or bot accounts. Platform to push through the deal.
But in a new court filing, Twitter called Mr. Musk’s allegations “factually false, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant.”
Twitter labels the billionaire’s claim that Twitter hid or misrepresented the number of bot accounts on the platform “a story” that was “perceived in an attempt to avoid a merger deal that Musk has stocked.” The market was once unattractive—and with it, his vast personal wealth—depreciated.
The company has previously published a rough estimate that about 5% of accounts on the site are bots, a figure Mr Musk disputed during the takeover saga – leading to the current legal hurdle.
During the takeover, Twitter has given Mr. Musk and his lawyers access to company data to complete their own analysis, but Mr. Musk’s team has argued that the data has failed to give them a clear picture.
In response, Twitter said Mr. Musk’s reasoning was “contradictory.”
Twitter said in its filing that “Musk made representations that Twitter never made and then selectively, extensively classified data that Twitter sought to provide to him so that he could violate those alleged representations. “
“Yet Musk simultaneously and unreservedly claims that Twitter breached the merger agreement by withholding his information requests.”
In their counterclaim, Mr. Musk and his lawyers say their analysis of the data Twitter provided them found that, in fact, about 10 percent of accounts on Twitter were classified as bots, court documents show. Can go – and so Twitter misrepresented its position.
However, Twitter has also responded to the claim that Mr Musk’s team used a “common web tool” to perform the analysis, which it says it first used on Mr Musk’s own. The account is also identified as a bot.
“This claim is unacceptable on its face because Musk is not measuring the same thing as Twitter or using the same data as Twitter,” the company says.
“The result is a distortion that Musk hopes will make waves anyway.”
Twitter added that Mr Musk’s aggressive approach to the takeover deal meant he had “abandoned” any due diligence.
“Counterclaims fail to justify Musk’s plan to dishonor merger agreement,” says Twitter.
“Musk claims he has the right to back out of the deal if Twitter is ‘miscounting’ the number of fake or spam accounts on its platform. That’s false — as the facts and terms of the merger agreement reveal. do
“When Musk offered to buy Twitter, he didn’t — and Twitter didn’t — make any representations about the number of fake or spam accounts. The merger agreement doesn’t include a single reference to fake or spam accounts. .
“Nor did Musk ask Twitter for any information to ‘verify’ the number of fake or spam accounts before entering into the merger agreement. To the contrary, Musk did due diligence — giving Twitter 24 hours a day. gave him time to take it or leave it, to accept the offer before he made it directly to Twitter’s stockholders.
The case is currently scheduled to be heard in October.