Chancellor Kathaleen St. Judge McCormick denied Elon Musk’s request to interview additional Twitter employees who had access to bot information, she ruled on Monday. Musk attorneys can interview 41 people who had access to bot information, known as “custodians” in court documents. However, 22 additional custodians will not be available to the defense’s lawyers.
On August 10, Bloomberg reported that Musk’s attorneys were accusing Twitter of hiding potentially key witnesses who were specifically responsible for evaluating the social media platform’s population of bots. The lawyers sent a letter to Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick that requested the names of those employees. Twitter had already handed over the names of 41 employees, including the General Manager of Consumer at Twitter, Kayvon Beykpour. However, they were not “as familiar with the data at issue.” Musk’s attorneys wanted 22 additional names, the letter on August 9 said.
However, McCormick ruled today that Twitter would not be required to release any information from the 22 “additional custodians:”
“Having reviewed the defendants’ letter dated August 9, 2022, and the plaintiff’s letter dated August 11, 2022, it is hereby ordered that the plaintiff is required to collect, review, and produce documents from Kayvon Keykpour. The plaintiff is not required to collect, review, or produce documents from any other of the defendants’ proposed 22 additional custodians. The plaintiff need only collect, review, and produce documents from the 41 custodians to which plaintiff has agreed to date and Mr. Beykpour.”
Musk and Twitter will head to court on October 17 for a five-day trial. So far, multiple rulings in the case have gone toward Twitter. Last week, Musk offloaded nearly $7 billion in $TSLA shares in case the trial results in a loss, which would enforce the purchase. “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” he said on Twitter.
Musk offered to buy Twitter in May for $44 billion at $54.20 per share. However, he announced he would pull out of the deal several months later, citing that Twitter falsified its concentration of bot or spam/scam accounts. Twitter said that less than 5 percent of the population is bots in filings with the SEC. However, Musk has requested evidence of Twitter’s bot concentration being less than 5 percent, which would likely cancel the buyout if they are falsified.
The Tesla CEO said he would be willing to complete the buyout immediately if Twitter gave evidence that the site’s scam/spam accounts actually make up less than 5 percent.
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