Both sides have submitted a rush of subpoenas as the trial date of October 17 — the day when Twitter’s case against entrepreneur Elon Musk goes to trial — approaches. The most recent development in that frenzy may be the subpoena sent to former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey by billionaire Elon Musk’s legal team. Dorsey, who resigned as CEO of Twitter in November to make way for Parag Agarwal, had previously voiced his support for Musk’s proposal to purchase Twitter for a total of $44 billion.
The subpoena issued to Dorsey requests, among other things, documents and conversations relating to Twitter’s use of mDAUs (monthly daily users) as a “Key Metric,” those relating to alternative user metrics that Twitter evaluated, and information describing any procedure or workflows used or explored by Twitter to detect spam/fake accounts on its platform.
Musk and Twitter have had disagreements about bot or spam accounts. In spite of Twitter’s claim that fewer than 5% of accounts are bots, the head of Tesla and SpaceX has repeatedly said that number is far higher, fueling rumors that turning Twitter private at a reduced price is not “out of the question.”
In fact, earlier this month Musk threw down the gauntlet by inviting Agarwal to a “public discussion” on spam and phony accounts. He had previously put the sale on hold while waiting for evidence to back up Twitter’s assertion about spam/fake accounts; when he didn’t get such evidence, he claimed that Twitter had breached the agreement and canceled the multibillion-dollar acquisition in July.
Of course, Twitter did not take the billionaire’s attempt to cancel the purchase lying down; rather, it went to court and demanded a legally binding commitment from Musk to see the acquisition through to fruition. It also issued a number of its own subpoenas, particularly to tech investors and businesspeople associated with Musk, some renowned VC Marc Andreessen, and PayPal’s first COO David Sacks. Musk has since been trying to find ways out of the contract that won’t require him to pay the $1 billion termination fee.