US: Musk seeks to question Twitter employees who count bots, says source

He wishes to terminate the $44 billion deal because of such accounts



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 10:33 AM

Elon Musk's legal team is demanding that Twitter Inc 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 acquisition of the social media company.

Musk said last month that he wished to terminate the deal because Twitter had withheld information about such accounts. Twitter sued Musk to complete the deal, and has said the issue had no bearing on their agreement with Musk.

Twitter and Musk are in the discovery phase of the lawsuit, and are preparing for a trial scheduled to begin on October 17 in Delaware. Both sides have issued subpoenas to banks and advisers, as they seek to gather evidence.

The process also includes agreeing on "custodians", or people with control over relevant information.

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 defence team could question them, the source said.

Bloomberg first reported the request by Musk's lawyers.

Twitter, and a lawyer for Musk, declined to comment. Twitter has previously said it has worked to cooperatively share relevant information with Musk to complete the deal.

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