Tag Archives: Elon Musk

Twitter Calls Elon Musk’s Third Attempt To Scrap Acquisition Invalid



Twitter said that payments to a whistleblower did not breach any of its obligations under the $44 billion acquisition proposed by Elon Musk, after the billionaire sent a third letter to try and call off the deal, CNBC reported.

The social media giant said it intends to enforce the agreement and close the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Musk, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. According to CNBC, Twitter shareholders will vote Tuesday on whether to approve or reject Musk’s takeover bid.

The Guardian reported that Twitter’s former head of security, Pieter “Mudge” Zatko, will appear in front of lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday. According to The Guardian, Zatko is expected to give damning evidence of data and information security failings at the social media platform, having outlined a litany of concerns in a whistleblower complaint last month.

The Guardian also reported that the Senate Judiciary committee hearing is not directly for the benefit of Elon Musk, who is trying to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter and has been given permission to include Zatko’s revelations as another reason for walking away. According to The Guardian, Musk’s lawyers interviewed Zatko on September 9. But if Zatko’s actions are going to have an immediate impact, it will be at a trial in Delaware on October 17, where Twitter is attempting to force Musk to buy the company under the terms he agreed in April.

The Verge reported that Musk’s legal team cited Twitter’s multimillion dollar severance payment to former security chief and whistleblower Peiter Zatko as a violation of the merger agreement and a reason to end the deal. The letter was dated September 9, and sent to Twitter’s chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde.

According to The Verge, Twitter responded Musk and company on September 12, saying, “As was the case with both your July 8, 2022 and August 29, 2022 purported notices of termination, the purported termination set forth in your September 9, 2022 letter is invalid and wrongful under the Agreement… Twitter has breached none of its representations or obligations under the Agreement.”

Personally, I think this back-and-forth between Twitter and Elon Musk is getting tiring. I cannot see a way for them to work things out that results in making both sides happy. To me, this bickering between the two comes across as petty and annoying. Good luck to the judge who has to make the decision about how this mess gets resolved!


Elon Musk Has A New Reason To End His Twitter Takeover



A lawyer for Elon Musk argued in a letter Friday to Twitter Inc. that a roughly $7 million payment the company made to a whistleblower gives the billionaire more ammunition to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy the social-media business, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Twitter agreed in June to pay a settlement to Peiter Zatko, who served as the company’s security head before being fired in January. The settlement was completed days before Mr. Zatko filed his whistleblower complaint in July, in which he accuses the company of failing to protect sensitive user data and lying about security problems, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter has denied the allegations and said Mr. Zatko was fired “for ineffective leadership and poor performance.”

Twitter didn’t reach out to Mr. Musk for consent before making the $7.75 million in payments to Mr. Zatko and his counsel, said Mr. Musk’s lawyer Mike Ringler, of Scadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He also said Mr. Musk first learned of the payment when Twitter filed the separation agreement with Mr. Zatko in court last week where he is fighting with Twitter over his effort to abandon the deal.

The Verge reported that Elon Musk has sent a third letter to Twitter attempting to terminate his $44 billion acquisition of the company. According to The Verge, the letter was dated September 9th, was sent to Twitter’s chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, and was used in a filing Twitter made with the SEC on Friday. The Verge has embedded a copy of the letter in their article.

So far, Elon Musk has attempted several times to end his deal with Twitter. In July of 2022, Elon Musk’s camp concluded that Twitter’s figures on spam accounts were not verifiable. Twitter responded that spam accounts make up less than 5% of the company’s daily monetizable users, which Twitter defines as daily users who are logged in and authenticated by Twitter.

Also in July of 2022, Elon Musk sought to terminate his deal by claiming that Twitter breached the terms of the deal by not being forthcoming about critical business information as it pertains to bots. He also requested that Twitter give him access to its “firehose” or stream of tweets.

In August, a judge rejected Elon Musk’s “absurdly broad” Twitter data request for years of data about Twitter Inc.’s spam and fake accounts. However, the judge ordered Twitter to provide a subset of the information to Mr. Musk’s lawyers.

And now, Elon Musk claims that the money that Twitter paid Pieter Zatko was a violation of the merger agreement and a reason to end the deal. Mr. Musk appears to be having a “buyer’s remorse” over his decision to buy Twitter.


SpaceX And T-Mobile Team Up To “End Mobile Dead Zones”



SpaceX founder Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said their companies are working to “end mobile dead zones,” and will launch a new mobile service enabled by Starlink second-generation satellites and T-Mobile bandwidth, CNBC reported.

According to CNBC, Starlink is comprised of a network of satellites that SpaceX has launched into low Earth orbit, and designed to deliver high-speed internet in remote locations across the globe. SpaceX has launched more than 2,700 satellites to support this network.

Elon Musk tweeted: “Starlink V2, launching next year, will transmit direct to mobile phones, eliminating dead zones worldwide.”

CNBC reported about what T-Mobile users will be able to do with Starlink:

T-Mobile users will be able to use messaging, MMS and certain messaging apps, from remote places across the lower 48 states, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii and even some remote points in the water.

Eventually, the service will work with voice, Sievert said. T-Mobile plans to include the service in its most popular mobile plans but did not disclose specific pricing.

Musk said the service will work with Starlink’s second generation satellites, which have very large antennae and will be able to transmit directly to a cell or mobile phone.

The service won’t require mobile users to get a new phone. Musk said in or after a natural disaster, even if all the cell towers are taken out, the planned service should work.

The Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX and T-Mobile said that the new service will use Starlink satellites that SpaceX plans to launch and provide connections to U.S. consumers using wireless spectrum controlled by T-Mobile. The companies said they plan to start with a test of text-messaging services in select markets before the end of 2023.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new service will use Starlink satellites as cellular towers and transmit directly back to devices on the ground. T-Mobile will set aside a slice of its midband spectrum for these connections. It will use the airwave frequencies in a way that can also be used on its ground-based network.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that some competing satellite operators have raised concerns about the size of that fleet or have said they oppose it. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a SpaceX customer, has registered worries that the satellites could cause more collisions in orbit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Communications Commission (FTC) would need to sign off on SpaceX’s use of the T-Mobile spectrum. And would need to also secure additional permission from the agency.

Overall, I think it would be a good idea to find a way to make it easier – and less expensive – for people in rural areas to access the internet and/or use their smartphones more efficiently. I’m not sure that Starlink is the right solution, considering the potential veto from regulators.

ArsTechnica reported that the V2 satellites are too large for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket’s payload fairing, which is 5 meters across. The full-size Starlink V2 satellites will need to wait for the much larger Starship rocket to come online.


Judge Rejects Elon Musk’s “Absurdly Broad” Twitter Data Request



A Delaware judge called Elon Musk’s request for years of data about Twitter Inc.’s spam and fake accounts “absurdly broad” but ordered the social-media company to provide a subset of the information in the continuing legal battle over the billionaire’s soured $44 billion takeover, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick said in a decision Thursday that the request by Mr. Musk’s legal team to compel the company to produce “trillions upon trillions of data points” for more than 200 million users was overly burdensome and “no one in their right mind has ever tried to undertake such an effort.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the judge ordered Twitter to produce a narrower section of the data requested, including a historical snapshot of accounts that were reviewed by the company to determine the number of spam and fake accounts on its platform, an issue central to the dispute over Mr. Musk’s effort to terminate the merger agreement and substantiate his counterclaim of fraud.

The Washington Post reported that Musk had been angling to exit the deal since he terminated his agreement in July, after agreeing to purchase the social media giant for $44 billion in April. Twitter sued shortly after, followed by a countersuit from Musk.

According to The Washington Post, Musk’s team had been seeking information that could more deeply reveal Twitter’s internal methodologies and understanding of the bot issue. Musk’s lawyers referenced a whistleblower complaint obtained by The Washington Post during a Wednesday hearing, in which former head of security Peiter Zatko alleges Twitter was not incentivized to accurately count bots and spam.

The Verge reported that Musk’s lawyers wanted “all of the data Twitter might possibly store for each of the approximately 200 million accounts included in its mDAU count every day for nearly three years,” covering trillions of data points, McCormick wrote in her ruling “Plaintiff [Twitter] has difficulty quantifying the burden of responding to that request because no one in their right mind has ever tried to undertake such an effort. It suffices to say, Plaintiff has demonstrated that such a request is overly burdensome.”

Personally, I think this push for “all the data Twitter might possibly store” for three years is a tactic being used by Musk’s lawyers in an effort to get out of the $44 billon agreement that he signed with Twitter. I believe that Elon Musk is very likely going to be willing to spend whatever it takes to sever himself from the deal that he signed with Twitter – and then changed his mind about. In this situation, it appears Musk and his lawyers want to be as annoying as possible – until Musk gets what he wants.

According to The Verge, however, the judge partially agreed to Twitter’s request for documents from Musk’s side as Twitter pursues information on data analysis Musk performed before he attempted to exit the deal. “At a minimum, Defendants must produce the Analyses,” writes [Judge] McCormick, as well as identification of related information on a privilege log so that Twitter’s lawyers could request access to specific documents.


Elon Musk Sells $7.92 Million Tesla Shares Worth $6.88 Billion



How are things going with the Twitter – Musk lawsuit, that is scheduled for October of 2022? Signs point to it not going very well for Elon Musk, who wants to terminate his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

CNBC reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold 7.92 million shares of Tesla worth around $6.88 billion, according to a series of financial filings published Tuesday night. According to CNBC, Musk’s transactions occurred between Aug. 5 and 9, the SEC filings revealed, following Tesla’s 2022 annual shareholder meeting on August 4 in Austin, Texas.

The centi-billionaire is in the midst of a contentious legal battle with Twitter, the social networking giant he agreed to acquire in April for about $44 billion or $54.20 per share, CNBC reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Tesla boss has been on a selling spree over the past year, during which he has cashed out roughly $32 billion worth of shares in the electric-vehicle maker. That includes around $8.5 billion of sales in April, while Mr. Musk was lining up to take over Twitter. At the time, he tweeted: “No further TSLA sales planned after today.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Musk has since tried to walk away from buying Twitter, which is suing him to enforce the takeover. If the judge were to force Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction, he could be on the hook for more than $33 billion in equity financing, according to a regulatory filing. He already owns 9% of Twitter, valued at roughly $3 billion at $54.20 a share, Mr. Musk’s buyout price.

If the Twitter deal doesn’t close, Mr. Musk would buy Tesla stock again, he said. He also suggested he might set up his own social media platform – X.com – if the deal falls through. He said before agreeing to buy Twitter that he was “giving serious thought” to such an endeavor, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In March, Reuters reported that Elon Musk was giving “serious thought” to build new social media platform. This was in response to a Twitter user’s question on whether he would consider building a social media platform consisting of an open source algorithm and one that would prioritize free speech, and where propaganda was minimal.

Reuter’s also reported that none of the other social media companies, including Donald Trump’s Truth Social, Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler and video site Rumble have come close to matching the reach and popularity of the mainstream platforms so far.

If I had to guess, I would say that the judge who is presiding over the Twitter-Musk lawsuit is going to force Elon Musk to consummate the transaction to buy Twitter. If that happens, I expect there will be dramatic changes to how Twitter functions, and who it attracts.

However, if Musk’s lawyers can make a convincing case that causes the judge to allow him to opt-out of the transaction to buy Twitter – I suppose that would leave Mr. Musk open to starting his own social media company.


Twitter-Musk Lawsuit Scheduled For October



Twitter won its first legal fight against Elon Musk on Tuesday when a Delaware judge granted the company’s request to fast-track its lawsuit seeking to compel the world’s richest person to complete his $44 billion purchase of the social-media site, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the chief judge of the Delaware Chancery Court, ordered a five-day trial in October, over Mr. Musk’s objections. Chancellor McCormick said the case should be resolved quickly, agreeing with Twitter’s claim that it could be harmed by uncertainty about its future as a public company.

“Those concerns are on full display in the present case,” Chancellor McCormick said. “Typically, the longer the merger transaction remains in limbo, the larger the cloud of uncertainty cast over the company and the greater the risk of irreparable harm to the sellers.”

The Verge reported: This is a win for Twitter, which asked for a shorter timeframe than Musk. The trial will be five days – longer than Twitter asked for but shorter than Musk did. The exact dates have not yet been scheduled.

According to The Verge, Twitter’s counsel said that Musk’s conduct was “inexcusable.” Musk has held up an employee retention plan and is engaging in “needless value destruction”. Musk’s lawyers suggested that Twitter was giving Musk the run-around with bot data. Both teams of lawyers agreed that Musk’s team had run millions of queries on Twitter’s firehose, a real-time feed of Tweets as they are sent.

The Verge contributed the 62-page lawsuit to DocumentCloud.

Politico reported: This lawsuit marks the latest in a monthlong back-and-forth between Twitter and Musk over his April offer to buy the platform for $54.20 per share and take the company private. Market conditions have since depressed Twitter’s value. Musk is trying to get out of the deal over claims that the company has failed to cooperate with his endeavors to determine the number of fake accounts on the platform.

According to Politico, a Twitter spokesperson said the company is “pleased that the court agreed to an expedite the trial.” Twitter’s attorney William Savitt said during the Tuesday hearing, “Musk has been and remains contractually obligated to use his best efforts to close this deal. What he’s doing is the exact opposite of best efforts.”

The Guardian reported that on July 8, Musk said he was terminating the deal for three broad reasons: Twitter had breached the agreement by failing to provide enough information on spam accounts; that it had misrepresented the number of spam accounts in its disclosures to the US financial watchdog; and that it had breached the agreement by failing to consult with him when firing senior employees recently.

Based on what I’ve read on Twitter, there are Elon Musk fans who hope that Elon Musk will buy Twitter, because they believe he will never ban any content or account from the site. There are also people who said they will leave Twitter if Elon Musk buys it.


Judge In Twitter v. Musk Trial Schedules Hearing



The judge overseeing Twitter Inc.’s $44 billion lawsuit against Elon Musk has a no-nonsense reputation as well as the distinction of being one of the few jurists who has ever ordered a reluctant buyer to close a U.S. corporate merger, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Kathaleen McCormick took over the role of chancellor or chief judge of the Court of Chancery last year, the first woman assigned that role. On Wednesday, July 13, she was assigned the Twitter lawsuit which seeks to force Musk to complete his deal for the social media platform, which promises to be one of the biggest legal showdowns in years.

Reuters also reported that, in contrast to Elon Musk’s volatile behavior, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is known for being soft-spoken, approachable and amiable – but a person who stands her ground. She advocates respect among litigants and integrity at legal conferences.

The Chancellor has scheduled the first hearing for Friday, July 19, in Wilmington, where she will consider Twitter’s request to expedite the case and conduct a four-day trial in September.

The Wall Street Journal reported that lawyers for Mr. Musk filed papers with the Delaware Chancery Court, their first public response to the lawsuit filed earlier this week by the social-media company seeking agreement to enforce the terms of their merger agreement. Should the court reject Twitter’s “unjustifiable request to rush this,” they said in their filing.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter asked the court to expedite the proceedings, citing risks from the recent economic downturn and being held in limbo by a buyer. The company requested a trial by mid-September “to protect Twitter and its stockholders from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement.”

TechCrunch reported that with Twitter pressing for a quick trial, Elon Musk’s lawyers are making a case to slow things down. TechCrunch also reported: Twitter, likely tired of being in limbo as the drama drags on, requested that the trial be expedited with a start date as soon as September.

According to TechCrunch, in the lawsuit Twitter filed against Elon Musk, Twitter argued that it would only need four days to prove that the court should require Musk to follow through with his agreement to buy it for $44 billion. Twitter stated that not only was Elon Musk trying to back out of the deal but also was dragging the social network through the mud in the process.

Elon Musk’s lawyers reportedly responded that the case will require “forensic review and analysis” of a deep pool of data, referring to his argument that Twitter undercounts its number of spam and otherwise fake accounts. The lawyers for Elon Muck are aiming for a February 13, 2023 trial date.

It appears that the Chancellor assigned to this case “stands her ground”, which could potentially make this case shorter than expected. There are two potential outcomes. The court forces Elon Musk to make good on his offer to buy Twitter. Or, the court decides that Musk’s lawyers show valid reason for him to abandon his offer. Until then, people who use Twitter will probably speculate widely about how they think this case will end.