Musk, Twitter may reach deal to end court battle as early as Wednesday, person familiar says

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct 5 (Reuters) – Elon Musk and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) could reach an agreement to end their legal battle as early as Wednesday, clearing the way for the world’s richest person to celebrate his 44- Billion-dollar deal social media platform, a source familiar with the lawsuit told Reuters.

Musk, who is also the chief executive officer of electric-car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), suggested to Twitter late Monday that he would change course and stick to his April agreement to buy the company for $54.20 a share buy him if Twitter dropped its litigation.

Musk’s proposal Monday included the stipulation that closing the deal was conditional on obtaining the necessary debt financing. The potential agreement would likely remove that condition, said the source, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are confidential.

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Twitter’s legal team and Musk’s attorneys briefed the judge on Tuesday on their attempts to overcome mutual distrust and find a process for closing the deal.

Musk is scheduled to be dropped off in Austin, Texas on Thursday.

Musk canceled a deposition in late September, citing concerns about a Twitter attorney’s potential exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19, according to a court filing released Wednesday.

Shares of Twitter fell 0.7% to $51.63 on Wednesday afternoon. The stock hit its highest on Tuesday since Musk and Twitter agreed in April that he would buy the company for $54.20 a share.

Musk said in July he backed out of the acquisition agreement after discovering that Twitter had allegedly misled him about the number of fake accounts, among other things.

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Part of Musk’s case was based on allegations made public in August by Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko.

Twitter’s legal team wanted to investigate whether Quinn Emanuel’s attorney, Alex Spiro, who was handling the case for Musk, communicated with the whistleblower back in May. The law firm said in court filings its attorneys did not communicate with Zatko or his representatives.

Spiro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Twitter revealed an anonymous May 6 email to Spiro from “a former exec at Twitter who led teams directly involved with Trust & Safety/Content Moderation,” according to court documents. The sender offered to communicate “in alternative ways”.

Zatko, who was head of Twitter security until his sacking in January, has sworn under oath that he did not communicate with Musk or Musk’s attorneys at Quinn Emanuel.

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The judge, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery, said in a ruling Monday it was “at least plausible” that Zatko sent the anonymous email. She ordered Spiro to file a statement with the court at 4:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, explaining his actions in relation to the May 6 email.

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Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Anirban Sen in New York. Edited by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tom Hals

Thomson Reuters

Award-winning reporter with over two decades of international news experience, focusing on high-stakes litigation in everything from government policy to corporate contracting.

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