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In early victory for Twitter, judge sets October trial against Elon Musk

The billionaire’s lawyers wanted hearings to be pushed to February 2023, arguing the need to check the true number of fake accounts on the social media platform

Elon Musk - Twitter
Musk said in early July that he was walking away from the Twitter deal.OLIVIER DOULIERY (AFP)

Twitter has won the first battle against Elon Musk in court. After hearing both parties, a judge has decided that the trial to resolve the dispute over the latter’s pledge to acquire the social media giant for $44 billion will take place over five days in October.

The company had applied to the Delaware Court of Chancery, a specialized tribunal that handles high-profile business disputes, for an expedited process, alleging that each day of uncertainty is a blow to Twitter’s share value. The social media giant is seeking to force the CEO of Tesla to make good on his pledge to pay $54.20 a share for Twitter.

The billionaire businessman’s lawyers, on the other hand, had asked for the process to be postponed until February 2023, arguing the need to determine the real number of fake and bot accounts on the platform, which Twitter has estimated at less than 5% of the total.

Twitter’s lawyers have claimed that Musk’s delaying efforts are an “attempted sabotage” that is harming the company “every hour, every day.” Twitter’s share price has begun to rise, however, on the back of widespread belief that it has a good chance of winning the legal battle.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the head judge of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, agreed with Twitter’s view. “Delay threatens irreparable harm,” she said. “The longer the delay, the greater the risk.”

Musk, considered the wealthiest man in the world by Forbes, announced in early July that he was ditching the deal.

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