February 25, 2024

An image of Elon Musk is seen on a smartphone placed over printed Twitter logos in this picture taken April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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Aug 3 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc ( TWTR.N ) and Elon Musk, suing each other over the world’s richest man’s bid to exit their $44 billion merger, could not even agree on how much to tell the public about their dispute.

The presiding judge, Delaware Court Chancellor Kathleen McCormick, ruled Wednesday that Musk’s rebuttal will not be made public until the afternoon of Aug. 5, two days later than Musk wanted.

Musk’s counterattack could be made public as soon as Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss the matter.

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McCormick made the decision after San Francisco-based Twitter accused Musk of trying to release his 163-page countersuit Wednesday without giving him a chance to delete or black out confidential information about the company.

Hours later, Musk’s lawyers hit back, accusing Twitter of trying to bury “the side of the story it doesn’t want to come out publicly” and undermine the public’s First Amendment constitutional right to know what both sides are arguing.

Twitter had received a copy of the countersuit on July 29 and said court rules allowed it five business days to work on the corrections. Musk said three business days was enough.

The dispute highlights the resentment between Twitter and Musk, who is also chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ).

Musk agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, but tried to back out on July 8 without paying a $1 billion breakup fee, citing Twitter’s failure to provide details about the prevalence of bot and spam accounts.

Twitter sued him four days later, accusing him of sabotaging the merger because it no longer served its interests and demanding that he complete the merger.

A trial is scheduled for Oct. 17. Twitter this week issued dozens of subpoenas to banks, investors and law firms that backed Musk’s bid, while Musk issued subpoenas to Twitter’s advisers at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Musk had offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, saying he believed it could be a global platform for free speech.

Shares of Twitter closed up 2 cents at $41.00 on Wednesday.

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Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Greg Roumeliotis and Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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