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Musk countersuit accuses Twitter of fraud over ‘bot’ rely

FILE - The Twitter splash page is displayed on a digital device in San Diego, April 25, 2022. Twitter has filed a response to claims by billionaire Elon Musk that he has legitimate reasons for wanting to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company.  In a counterclaim filed Thursday, Aug.  4, 2022, Twitter calls Musk's reasoning “a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market—and along with it, his massive personal wealth—declined in value.”  (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

FILE – The Twitter splash web page is displayed on a digital machine in San Diego, April 25, 2022. Twitter has filed a response to claims by billionaire Elon Musk that he has respectable causes for desirous to again out of his $44 billion deal to purchase the social media firm. In a counterclaim filed Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, Twitter calls Musk’s reasoning “a narrative, imagined in an effort to flee a merger settlement that Musk now not discovered enticing as soon as the inventory market—and together with it, his huge private wealth—declined in worth.” (AP Picture/Gregory Bull, File)

AP

Elon Musk accused Twitter of fraud in a countersuit over his aborted $44 billion deal for the social media firm, which he claimed held again mandatory info and misled his group concerning the true dimension of its person base.

The countersuit by the billionaire and Tesla CEO alleges that Twitter dedicated fraud, breach of contract and violation of a securities regulation in Texas, the place Musk lives.

Musk’s counterclaims had been filed confidentially final week and unsealed in a submitting late Thursday on the Delaware Chancery Courtroom.

Musk provided to purchase Twitter earlier this 12 months, then tried to again out of the deal by claiming the social platform was infested with a bigger numbers of “spam bots” and pretend accounts than Twitter had disclosed.

Twitter sued to power him to finish the acquisition. Musk responded by submitting his countersuit.

Musk’s attorneys argue within the countersuit that Twitter “misrepresentations or omissions” distorted the corporate’s worth and induced Musk to agree in April to purchase it at an inflated worth. They mentioned Twitter’s personal disclosures revealed that it has 65 million fewer “monetizable day by day energetic customers,” who could be proven digital adverts, than the 238 million that Twitter claims.

The submitting additionally mentioned most of Twitter’s adverts are proven solely to a sliver of the corporate’s person base.

Musk’s group additionally accused Twitter of constructing too many main modifications in current months with out consulting Musk, together with personnel selections and allegedly disobeying social media restrictions imposed by the federal government of India, which is Twitter’s third largest market. Musk had pledged to make Twitter a haven without cost speech however has additionally mentioned it should adjust to the native legal guidelines the place it operates.

In an sudden twist, Twitter filed its response denying Musk’s accusations earlier than Musk’s personal counterclaims surfaced.

Twitter referred to as Musk’s reasoning “a narrative, imagined in an effort to flee a merger settlement that Musk now not discovered enticing.” The corporate, specifically, took challenge with Musk’s estimate of pretend accounts, saying the evaluation relied on a “generic net instrument” that designated Musk’s personal Twitter account as a probable bot.

“The result’s a distortion that Musk is hoping will make waves,” Twitter’s response mentioned.

The case is scheduled to go to trial on October 17. The Delaware courtroom handles many high-profile disputes between companies, equivalent to Twitter, which are included there.