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Twitter to depose Elon Musk next week ahead of buyout deal trial


Twitter’s lawyers will question Tesla chief Elon Musk under oath as part of the ongoing litigation between the social media giant and the multibillionaire over his bid to walk away from their $44bn acquisition deal.

The deposition is scheduled to start for 26-27 September and may extend to 28 September if necessary, Reuters reported, citing a filing at the Delaware Court of Chancery where the litigation has been going on.

Mr Musk and Twitter have been engaged in a legal battle since July after the Tesla chief said he would pull out of the deal to buy the social media company for $44bn.

In the ongoing litigation, subpoenas have reportedly been issued to several big names in Silicon Valley, including Intel’s former chief Robert Swan, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

Twitter whistleblower and former head of security of the company Pieter “Mudge” Zatko was also set to be deposed earlier this month.

Mr Zatko had said in his document to US regulatory agencies that Twitter has not been honest about the platform’s privacy issues and data security, and also that the company does not know how many bots are on its platform.

This was in line with the Tesla and SpaceX chief’s argument that he backed out of the deal to buy Twitter as the company failed to provide adequate information about the presence of fake accounts and spam bots on the platform.

Mr Musk also cited the Twitter whistleblower’s allegations about security issues with the company as one of the reasons he backed out of the deal.

But Twitter has held that Mr Zatko’s allegations are “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies”.

“Mr Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be,” it said.

Twitter’s lawyers accuse the Tesla chief of using Mr Zatko’s claims as cover for “failing to do customary due diligence” to buy the social media platform without adequate risk assessment.

The trial between the world’s richest man and the social media giant will take place between 17 and 21 October.

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