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Musk Wants to Move Twitter Trial

FILE: A digital image of the Twitter icon, taken 4.25.2022
FILE: A digital image of the Twitter icon, taken 4.25.2022

Elon Musk has asked a judge to schedule a five-day trial beginning Oct. 17, not Oct. 10 as requested by Twitter Inc. to resolve his bid to walk away from his nearly $44 billion deal to acquire the social media platform, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

.A lawyer for Musk, the owner of automaker Tesla and world's richest person, said he was writing to ask the judge to "break the impasse to allow things to move forward promptly."

Musk had requested a February trial, which he said provided the time he needed for a thorough investigation of fake accounts on Twitter. He said the company misrepresented its user numbers and therefore breached the merger agreement, allowing him to walk away.

The Musk letter also asked the judge to order Twitter to immediately produce what it called "core documents," require Twitter to produce all raw data by Aug. 1 and require the company to produce documents within 18 days of a request.

Musk accused Twitter of refusing to immediately provide documents such as manuals and policies regarding active daily user calculations and artificial intelligence and "all items in the data room."

Observers say one significant reason that may be motivating Musk's decision to walk from the deal is the current value of Twitter stock. The takeover bid, mounted on April 14, set the stock price for the transaction at $54.20 per share. By late June, the stock was trading in the mid $30s - on July 26 it traded in the $39 range.

The takeover deal reportedly has a billion-dollar "breakup fee" - which would still be a bargain compared to the court ordering Musk to buy Twitter at the stated $54.20 price.