Elon Musk’s legal team is demanding Twitter turn over the names of employees responsible for calculating what percentage of the social media site’s users are bot and spam accounts, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Bot and spam accounts on Twitter have become a central issue in the legal fight over whether Musk, who is Tesla’s chief executive, must complete his $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,465 crore) acquisition of the social media company.
Musk said last month he was terminating the deal because Twitter has withheld information about these accounts. Twitter sued Musk to complete the deal, and has said the issue has no bearing on the agreement with Musk.
An October 17 trial is scheduled in Delaware.
In a letter filed under seal on Tuesday, Musk’s lawyers asked the judge overseeing the case to compel Twitter to hand over the employee names so that the defense team can question them, the source said.
Bloomberg first reported the request by Musk’s lawyers.
A lawyer for Musk declined to comment. Twitter did not immediately respond to request for comment.
A few days back, Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to engage in a public debate over bot users if he is willing to move the deal ahead. Musk said Saturday that his planned $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3.5 lakh crore) takeover of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people.
The billionaire and Tesla CEO has been trying to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countersued, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.
© Thomson Reuters 2022