Elon Musk sues Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in takeover battle

Elon Musk sues Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in takeover battle

Elon Musk has sued Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey for his communications with the social media site’s executives about the prevalence of fake or bot accounts on the platform.

Monday’s filing comes as part of Musk’s legal battle to backtrack on his $44 billion deal to buy the company, primarily because of what the Tesla executive claims was a misrepresentation of the number of active users of the company. Twitter.

Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter chief in November, was an enthusiastic supporter of Musk’s dramatic takeover bid. In April, he described Musk as “the unique solution I trust” to solve Twitter’s problems, adding, “I rely on his mission to expand the light of consciousness.”

Monday’s filing calls for some communication between Dorsey and his executives since January 1, 2019 that may be relevant to “the impact or effect of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s business and operations”.

It looks for discussions and records about the use of “mDAU” – monthly daily active users – as a measure of Twitter’s user base. It also asks for documents or communications regarding the Musk deal, the possibility of him joining Twitter’s board, and his stake in the company.

The demand is the latest effort, by both sides, to gather bits of information from dozens of people related to the deal as the case heads to trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery. It is expected to begin on October 17 and last for five days.

Last week, the judge in the case, Kathleen McCormick, ordered Twitter to produce files of Kayvon Beykpour, a former senior executive who was fired in May by current Twitter chief Parag Agrawal.

Beykpour, the former head of product, could provide more insight into the company’s user base and its efforts to expand it. Earlier this month, Musk gave his own estimate of the number of fake or bot users, saying they made up at least 10 percent of all users, compared to the less than 5 percent Twitter has repeatedly claimed.

Twitter called Musk’s independent estimate “factually inaccurate, legally inadequate and commercially irrelevant”.

In August, Musk sued Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase for details of how the two Wall Street banks advised Twitter on the controversial deal.

Twitter has also cast a wide network at information-gathering, sending subpoenas to influential groups and figures in Musk’s orbit, including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and investors David Sacks and Marc Andreessen.

A lawyer representing Musk declined to comment further on the latest filing Monday. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

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