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Delaware court denies Elon Musk's attempt to delay Twitter trial

A Delaware chancery court denied Elon Musk's attempt to delay his Twitter trial on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6c43d96d0fff54b9f125024eaa6652cd/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A Delaware chancery court denied Elon Musk's attempt to delay his Twitter trial on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A Delaware chancery court denied Elon Musk's request to delay the trial over his attempt to abandon a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick said in her ruling Wednesday that a delay in the trial, which is scheduled for October, would unduly harm Twitter.

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"The company has been forced for months to manage under the constrains of a repudiated merger agreement," McCormick said. "I am convinced that even four weeks' delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify."

However, McCormick did hand Musk a win, saying the Tesla CEO would be allowed to add claims from Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko to his countersuit. Zatko has alleged that there were egregious security failings by Twitter, which Musk argues would show that the social media company breached its terms of the merger agreement.

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The trial is expected to begin Oct. 17, even though Musk's lawyers had sought to move the trial back to mid-November.

Musk had attempted to buy Twitter for $44 billion but then sent a letter to the company in July saying he was backing out of the deal. Musk argued that Twitter "has not complied with its contractual obligations" to provide accurate assessments of how many fake user accounts are on its system.

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Twitter claims that only about 5% of its "monetizable daily active users" are spam accounts -- a figure that Musk has publicly challenged as far too low.

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The social media company then sued Musk, accusing him of efforts to "trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value and walk away" from the deal.

Musk then countersued, arguing that Twitter breached provisions of the merger agreement. He cited allegations made by Zatko.

Zatko, a former hacker who was recruited to Twitter in November 2020, has accused Twitter of lying about its security plan and said that 50% of its servers were outdated. Twitter previously said that Zatko was fired for "ineffective leadership and poor performance."

Twitter said in a statement that it was looking forward to next month's trial.

"We look forward to presenting our case in Court beginning on October 17th and intend to close the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.

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