Elon Musk can bring a Twitter Inc. whistle-blower’s complaint about spam and bots on the social media platform into his defense against the company’s lawsuit to make him complete his $44 billion buyout, a judge ruled.
Musk’s legal team is permitted “incremental discovery relevant to the new allegations” raised by the whistle-blower, Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick said in a five-page ruling on Wednesday.
But McCormick denied Musk’s request to delay a trial of the case set for next month.
“I am convinced that even four weeks’ delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify,” she wrote, maintaining the Oct. 17 date.
The rulings came a day after McCormick heard arguments on the matters from both sides.
“We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in the courtroom,” said Alex Spiro, Musk’s lead lawyer.
A Twitter representative didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment on the rulings.
The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer backed away from his planned purchase of Twitter, claiming the company hadn’t leveled with him about the number of spam and bot accounts among its more than 230 million users. The whistle-blower, former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko, said company officials brushed off his worries about such accounts and misled investors about the problem.
Lawyers for the billionaire cast Zatko’s accusations of shoddy operations as further violations of the buyout agreement.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter’s attorneys for the first time specifically disputed Zatko’s assertions that he raised such questions while at the company. They said addressing the bots issue wasn’t part of his “portfolio.”
The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).
—With assistance from Molly Schuetz.
- Zero-COVID Protests in China Have Rattled Global Markets
- Column: Diversity Initiatives Are Failing the U.S. Muslim Community
- Why European Countries Are Giving Teens Free Money To Spend on Books, Music, and Theater
- Republican Skepticism of Trump Has Never Been Higher
- Column: The U.S. Prison System Doesn't Value True Justice
- How Green Is the Qatar World Cup’s Outdoor AC?
- 16 Funny and Whimsical White Elephant Gifts Under $25
- The 5 Best New TV Shows Our Critic Watched in November 2022