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Elon Musk countersues Twitter ahead of new October trial date

Musk formally responded to Twitter’s complaint Friday, but the argument was filed under seal

Elon Musk in 2022. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO — The trial over Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover bid will take place beginning Oct. 17 in Delaware Chancery Court, a judge ruled Thursday night, putting the world’s richest man on a collision course with the social media giant.

Meanwhile, Musk formally launched a countersuit against Twitter late Friday, capping off two weeks of legal maneuvering by both sides.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick signed off on a trial schedule for the week in mid-October, the court documents said. Twitter had pushed for an expedited timeline in the matter to prevent damage to the company, an order that was granted earlier this month.

Judge grants Elon Musk an October court date, in early win for Twitter

The 164-page countersuit filing by Musk Friday was placed under seal, however, meaning the arguments were not publicly accessible. The confidential response consisted of counterclaims against Twitter,, according to a summary provided by a court filing system. Confidentiality can be permitted for certain categories of information, according to the court, such as trade secrets, sensitive financial or business information, or personnel details, for example.

Confidentiality for a filing — like Musk’s on Friday — should be granted only “if the public interest in access to Court proceedings is outweighed by the harm that public disclosure of sensitive, nonpublic information would cause,” the court rules say.

Court rules specify that those making a confidential filing in Delaware should issue a public version within five days, though there are exceptions. The public version would contain redactions of the specific confidential information.

Twitter sued Musk earlier in July alleging that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO had broken his agreement to buy the social media site for $44 billion, in a complaint that accused Musk of rule-breaking and “hypocrisy.”

Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in April, positioning himself as a champion of free speech and pledging to unbind the site from aggressive moderation tactics he decried as political in nature. He also promised a significant portion of his own wealth to back the deal.

Musk says Twitter bid is on hold

Musk also took aim at spam bots, or fake or automated accounts, which he pledged to defeat “or die trying” if his bid succeeded.

But his view toward the deal soured weeks later, as Musk tweeted the deal was “on hold” pending an evaluation of the percentage of fake accounts on the site. The about turn coincided with investor worries and economic pressure that took a significant toll on the Tesla stock, which is connected to much of Musk’s net worth.

That sparked a public battle as Twitter sought to provide evidence for its estimation that spam and bot accounts made up fewer than 5 percent of accounts on the site.

Elon Musk files to back out of Twitter deal

Musk announced on July 8 he was pulling out of the deal. Twitter filed the suit a few days later, sending the matter to the Delaware court.

The trial is slated to take place over five days and conclude on Oct. 21.

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