Elon Musk is backing out of the Twitter deal… or is he? Could all of this be a ploy to force Twitter to reveal the actual scope of their bot problem in open court? They have claimed in SEC filings that they count fewer than 5% of total users as global monetizable daily active users (mDAU) in their numbers, but Musk doesn’t think so.
It’s really a no-lose situation for Musk. If he goes to court and Twitter can prove their numbers are accurate, he will be “forced” to complete the deal that he wanted to make in the first place. If they cannot prove it, they will be in big trouble with the SEC as well as the court and may be compelled to sell to Musk for a lower amount.
In a reply to a viral Tweet in which Musk laid out the current situation, I predicted he would get the company for far less than what he originally offered:
If it's worth $44B with <5% bots, then…
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) July 11, 2022
After posting that Tweet, Musk invoked actor and martial arts master Chuck Norris in a meme. He called it “Chuckmate”:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2022
According to The Daily Mail:
Twitter on Sunday hired a heavy-hitting Delaware-based law firm to sue Musk for backing out of his $44billion deal to buy the company. The social media giant brought in Watchell, Lipton Rosen & Katz, and plans to file suit against Musk early this week, Bloomberg reported.
The hiring of Wachtell gives the company access to lawyers Leo Strine and Bill Savitt, who previously served as Chancellors of the Delaware Chancery Court. Delaware’s chancery courts deal with non-jury proceedings overseen by judges known as chancellors. They often tackle business wrangles, with many top US firms – including Twitter – basing their corporate headquarters there, even when their main offices lie elsewhere.
Chancery courts cannot order punitive damages to be paid, and generally hear cases more quickly than criminal trials, with the Twitter debacle likely to be wrapped-up within a few months.
However this ends, it seems likely Musk will get what he wants one way or another. Twitter may get what they want if they can prove they’re not lying about bots. If they can’t, they may have to sell to Musk for less than he offered or risk being laid to rest in the Big Tech graveyard.