First tech billionaire Elon Musk wanted to buy Twitter, then he withdrew from the agreement. The short message service therefore wants to bring him to court. Now the start of the negotiation is certain.

After Elon Musk withdrew from the takeover deal, Twitter managed to get a quick trial date in the takeover dispute with the tech billionaire. The judge in charge scheduled a five-day trial for October on Tuesday, according to US media reports from a hearing in the Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter had aimed for a date in September, Musk’s lawyers wanted to delay the process until next year.

Ten days ago, Musk unilaterally canceled the agreement to acquire Twitter for $44 billion. Twitter then went to court in the US state of Delaware, where the short message service is registered. In the lawsuit, Twitter is demanding that Musk be required to complete the acquisition as agreed.

Dissent about fake profiles on Twitter

The founder of the electric car manufacturer Tesla and the richest person in the world accuses Twitter of making false statements about the number of fake accounts on the platform. The service breached its contract by not providing sufficient access to check the numbers, his lawyers argue.

Twitter countered that Musk’s reference to the fake profiles was just an excuse to get out of the takeover deal after the stock market downturn. The problem was “fictitious to complicate things and cause delays,” said Twitter attorney William Savitt. In the takeover agreement between Twitter and Musk, the topic of spam and fake accounts “is not even mentioned”. He called for negotiations to start in September and referred to the risk of damage to the company if the process were to drag on.

Defeat of Elon Musk conceivable

Musk’s lawyers, on the other hand, said that “mountains of data” would first have to be analyzed to prove that the number of spam and fake accounts is actually well above the five percent figure specified by the company. The negotiations should therefore not start before February. With the hearing beginning in October, the judge is now much closer to Twitter’s claim.

Observers consider a judicial defeat of Musk and thus a forced fulfillment of the takeover agreement to be quite conceivable. It would also be possible, among other things, for the multi-billionaire Twitter to pay a contractual penalty of up to one billion dollars, as provided for in their agreement.