A Delaware judge has said the Twitter v Elon Musk trial is still going ahead later this month because neither side has asked to pause proceedings.
Kathaleen McCormick, the judge on Delaware’s court of chancery, wrote that no one had applied for a “stay” in the action, despite Musk performing a U-turn on Monday on his decision to withdraw from a $44bn deal to buy the social media platform.
“The parties have not filed a stipulation to stay this action, nor has any party moved for a stay. I, therefore, continue to press on toward our trial set to begin on Oct. 17, 2022,” wrote McCormick in a letter.
Messages seeking comment by the Guardian regarding the trial were left with Twitter and representatives for Musk. Neither have yet responded.
Musk’s lawyers told Twitter this week that the Tesla CEO is now willing to push ahead with the deal he agreed to in April this year. The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share.
However, Musk’s representatives said in a letter to Twitter that the world’s richest man was ready to close the deal on the terms agreed in April provided the trial is adjourned and the debt financing underpinning the deal is received. Twitter responded on Tuesday that the intention of the company “is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share” but gave no further details of its response to Musk’s renewed offer.
McCormick is due to preside over a five-day non-jury trial in which Twitter is arguing that Musk should be required to complete the transaction. Musk is countersuing – with a lawsuit that will be heard during the same trial – and is arguing that the company has suffered a material adverse effect, or substantial reduction in its value that renders the deal invalid. Musk’s argument centres on the number of spam accounts on Twitter’s platform, which is he claims is underplayed by the company, and is being expanded to include revelations about information security at the company from a whistleblower.
However, legal experts have said Musk’s chances of success are slim. He is also due to be questioned under oath by Twitter lawyers on Thursday and Friday as part of preparations for the trial.
Reuters also reported on Wednesday that Apollo Global Management, the private equity group which was looking to provide $1bn earlier this year to Elon Musk for his Twitter buyout, is no longer in talks with the Tesla CEO.