eElon Musk may file a whistleblower complaint against Twitter Inc. about spam and bots on the social media platform in its defense against the company’s lawsuit to force it to complete its $44 billion buyout, a judge ruled.
Musk’s legal team has been granted “progressive disclosure related to the new allegations” raised by the whistleblower, said Delaware Circuit Court Judge Kathleen St. J. McCormick in a five-page decision Wednesday.
But McCormick rejected Musk’s request to delay the trial in the case, scheduled for next month.
“I am convinced that even a four-week delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify,” she wrote, keeping the Oct. 17 date.
The rulings came a day after McCormick heard arguments on the issues from both sides.
“We hope that winning the amendment motion brings us one step closer to the truth coming out in the courtroom,” said Alex Spiro, Musk’s lead attorney.
A Twitter representative did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the rulings.
The CEO of Tesla Inc. backed out of its planned purchase of Twitter, claiming the company had failed to come to terms with the number of spam and bot accounts among its more than 230 million users. The whistleblower, former Twitter security chief Peter Zatko, said company officials dismissed his concerns about such accounts and misled investors about the issue.
Attorneys for the billionaire cast Zatko’s accusations of botched operations as additional breaches of the buyout agreement.
Read more: The Twitter whistleblower needs your trust
In Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter’s lawyers for the first time specifically disputed Zatko’s claims that he raised similar issues while at the company. They said solving the bot problem was not part of his “portfolio.”
The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware (Wilmington) court.
— With help from Molly Schuetz.
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