Musk has repeatedly said he will remove nearly all restrictions on what users can post, accusing Twitter of blocking free speech when making decisions about content that is too harmful for the site. He also promised to reopen the platform to the former president — which was banned after he encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol amid the Jan. 6 riots.
The announcement was made via a letter from Skadden Arps attorney Mike Ringler on behalf of the tech billionaire, who alleged Twitter was in “material breach” of “several provisions” of the original agreement, according to a filing. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He also alleged that the company made “false and misleading statements” about the deal.
“Sometimes Twitter ignored Mr. Musk’s request, sometimes it rejected them for reasons that seem unjustified, and sometimes it pretended to comply while giving Mr. Musk information that was incomplete or unusable,” the statement said. letter.
Jason Miller, CEO of alternative social network GETTR – which is known for hosting extremist and conspiratorial content, argued in a statement that Musk’s takeover attempt – and the uproar it caused within Twitter’s ranks – revealed a “politically discriminatory culture inside the Bluebird”. .”
But Twitter says it’s not over yet. The company has agreed to pursue legal action and complete the merger at the original price, according to a statement from Chairman Bret Taylor.
“Twitter’s board of directors is committed to completing the transaction at the price and terms agreed to with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” Taylor said. “We are confident that we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery. »
Whichever party breaks the deal could be liable for up to $1 billion.
All signs point to Twitter aggressively defending its position in court, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s thinking. Twitter has fully responded to all of Musk’s requests for information and does not believe it violated the merger agreement, the person said. The individual was granted anonymity to discuss the internal dynamics of the company.
Angelo Carusone, president and CEO of left-leaning nonprofit Media Matters for America, however, blamed the deal’s failure on “erratic behavior, extremist buy-in and poor business decisions.” by Musk.
Musk, he said, “has been explicit about his intentions, which is why right-wing extremists celebrated the news.”
Questions about the status of the deal have been raised in recent weeks, spurred in part by public comments from Musk questioning the social network’s claim that 5% of its daily active users were spam accounts. Musk alleges the number is a low estimate.
Musk’s filing comes the day after Twitter said in a briefing to reporters that it is now deleting more than a million spam accounts a day, double the number of accounts that CEO Parag Agrawal said the company had removed in May.