Elon Musk said in his private texts that it wouldn’t make sense to buy Twitter “if we’re heading into World War 3.” H wanted to ‘slow down’ his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter months after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Musk had signed an agreement to buy Twitter and take it private in April. When Musk said he was dropping the deal in July, Twitter almost directly sued him to enforce the contract and make Musk acquire it at the agreed-upon $44 billion price. Musk is on the back foot in the ongoing court battle, which is set to go to a five-day trial in early October.
These private texts were mentioned in a hearing on Tuesday about pushing back a trial in October over Musk’s deal to buy Twitter. There were also other disputes about discovery. Musk informed Twitter in July that he was canceling his agreement to buy the company in a letter that argued Twitter had wrongfully withheld data on “bots” and spam accounts.
“Let’s slow down just a few days. Putin’s speech tomorrow is really important. It won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War 3,” Twitter’s lawyer said, reading Musk’s texts during the hearing.
Alex Spiro, the lawyer representing Musk, said the characterization of the texts in court was “utter nonsense as the full text chain shows.” The text chain is anticipated to be filed on the court docket next week.
Before Tuesday’s hearing, Musk’s lawyers cited a whistleblower complaint from Twitter’s former CISO, Pieter Zatko. In a formal disclosure, he informed Congress last month that Twitter was dealing poorly with various security issues. Congress said they needed more time to review all the problems Zatko presented.
Elon’s legal team asserts that the social media company deliberately deceived him about the number of daily users and spam accounts on its site, amounting to fraud and breach of contract.