Elon Musk is being sued by Twitter for attempting to break his $44 billion deal to acquire the firm. In a typical Musk tale, his own bad tweets, including one that included the famed poo emoji and was addressed at Twitter’s CEO, are being used against him. Musk, the richest man in the world, joined the site in 2009 and has since climbed up the ranks beyond the rest of us normal users to become Twitter’s king shitposter.
But he wasn’t happy to just post; since April, he has been making a clumsy attempt to acquire the business in a process that has been equal parts aggressive takeover and family dispute. Musk said last week that he intended to back out of the $44 billion acquisition agreement because he believes Twitter is “in significant violation of many terms” of their contract.
Because the agreement Musk made “no longer serves his personal interests,” claims Twitter’s lawsuit, he “refuses to respect his commitments to Twitter and its investors.” This is why Twitter is suing him. Several key officials at Twitter departed the firm after the news of the transaction, and its stock fell sharply.
After objecting to the methodology used by Twitter to determine how many “spam bots” are using the service, he said the transaction was on hold in May (of course via tweet). He tweeted several hours later to say that he was “still dedicated to acquisition.”
Musk is the target of a 62-page lawsuit from Twitter, which details how his public actions on the same platform he was attempting to acquire diminished its value. The complaint was submitted on Tuesday. Twitter’s attorneys have used text and images from Musk’s own tweets all throughout the case.
A screenshot of his tweet from April, “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will fight the spam bots or die trying,” is included in the portion of Twitter’s lawsuit headlined “Musk grasps for an escape,” which also mentions his public pronouncements against spambots.
Longtime Twitter spam bot hater Elon Musk brought up the topic in a news statement announcing the deal in April, claiming that one of the objectives of the acquisition was to “make Twitter better than ever” by “fighting the spam bots” (among other similarly implausible objectives, such “authenticating all people”).
Following a May 13 diligence meeting with Musk, Twitter says in the lawsuit that Musk promptly posted “a falsehood that Twitter’s sample size for spam estimations was merely 100.” Then he tweeted, “Twitter legal just phoned to protest that I breached their NDA by exposing the bot check sample size is 100! “, acting audaciously through it like no one has ever before. This truly took place.
Musk responded to Parag Agrawal’s tweet regarding the company’s spam-fighting strategy with a feces emoji. That tweet is included as an example of a “disparaging” tweet in the lawsuit as well. According to Twitter, this is a requirement of their contract: “Musk may do so only “so long as such Tweets do not degrade the Company or any of its Representatives.”
His attempts to twitter through the discomfort with lawsuit memes are still ongoing as of this week, and the complaint makes note of them: “Musk posted Tweets insinuating that his data demands were never meant to make progress toward consummating the merger, but rather were part of a scheme to create litigation in which Twitter’s information would be publicly released.”
According to Musk, Twitter, its shareholders’ interests, the transaction Musk committed to, and the legal procedure to execute it all “constitute an elaborate farce,” according to Twitter’s lawsuit.
Although Musk often tweets himself into various kinds of difficulty, there have been a few occasions when his want to get on has landed him into serious legal difficulties. The SEC sued Musk and Tesla in 2018 after he tweeted that he might take Tesla private for $420 per share.
Musk and Tesla eventually settled, paying injured investors a total of $40 million. And in 2019, cave diver Vernon Unsworth sued him for slander in federal court for tweets branding him a “pedo man” during a dispute concerning rescue subs. Perhaps he can cite tweeting while taking Ambien as a defense against Twitter’s accusations in this most recent complaint, or maybe his mother will once again come in to stand up for him.