Is there a deal between Musk and Twitter? High-profile depositions were canceled Monday
For those of you who have never watched a show about the U.S. legal system like L.A. Law (since when did Laurie Partridge become an attorney?), or have never ever been sued, a deposition is the sworn testimony of a witness held out of the courtroom. There usually is no judge, but the witness is sworn in and must answer questions truthfully under penalty of perjury.
Elon Musk faces a deposition this week from Twitter attorneys
This week, the wealthiest man in the world, Elon Musk, will face a deposition as the defendant in Twitter's lawsuit that accuses Musk of backing out of his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share. Of course, the multi-billionaire, co-founder, and CEO of Tesla feels that he was well within his rights to break off the deal because Twitter could not prove to Musk that fake accounts make up under 5% of the total number of Twitter accounts.
Twitter and Musk will face each other in court for five days starting on October 17th
Musk is countersuing Twitter although the deposition this week has to do with Twitter's original suit. The questioning was supposed to have begun on Monday although sources with knowledge of the proceedings told Reuters that Musk was not asked any questions on Monday. The deposition is scheduled to run through Wednesday although it isn't known whether there will be a change in that schedule, or why there was a delay.
Musk seeks to be released from any obligation he might have to Twitter without paying any penalty. Twitter wants the court to force Musk to complete his purchase of the company. At $41.51 in after-hours trading on Monday, Twitter's shares closed $12.69 or 23.4% below the price that Musk said that he would pay for the company.
Musk's deposition is just one of several scheduled to take place before a five-day trial starts on October 17th in Wilmington, Delaware. He has a reputation for being combative with opposing attorneys during questioning. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is one of the Twitter executives who will be deposed. His deposition was also supposed to take place on Monday and was also delayed. Putting off such high-profile depositions on the same day could be a sign that a settlement between the two parties has been reached, although sometimes delayed depositions are just delayed depositions.
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey was supposed to have been the subject of a deposition last week. In past depositions, Musk has accused the opposition attorneys of "trickery" and complained that he was being sued merely because of his net worth.
Musk said as recently as August that he would still consider buying Twitter if the company could prove how it samples users to find which accounts are not real. He accuses Twitter of double counting linked accounts. He also claims that Twitter had inflated monetized daily active users in its SEC filings by as many as 1.9 million people each quarter.
Disney's due diligence in 2016 for a potential purchase of Twitter matches what Musk's team has discovered
Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor says about Musk that "His claims are factually inaccurate, legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant." In its court filings Twitter said, "Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests."
Backing up Elon's claims about a large number of bogus Twitter accounts is former Disney CEO Bob Iger. Earlier this month, Iger revealed that Disney was looking into purchasing Twitter in 2016. But Iger said that Disney's analysis led it to back off making a bid for Twitter; the former CEO of the Burbank based entertainment behemoth said that Disney's due diligence helped it discover that a "substantial" number of Twitter accounts were fake.
Musk responded to Iger's tweets about the fake Twitter accounts that Disney discovered by responding to the former Disney chief's comments with a single-word reply that said, "Interesting."