Elon Musk’s response to Twitter legal guidelines to be revealed by Friday

DOVER, Del. — Elon Musk’s answer to Twitter sues for its attempt to back out of a $44 billion deal to make public the purchase of the social media company on Friday evening at the latest, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Musk’s attorneys wanted to file a public version of their answer and counterclaims in a Delaware court on Wednesday. But Twitter TWTR,
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attorneys complained they needed more time to review and redact Musk’s sealed filing, saying it refers “extensively” to internal Twitter information and data given to Musk.

Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick a quick teleconference on Wednesday before she agreed with Twitter, ordering that the public filing be ended by 5 pm on Friday. It could be filed sooner depending on when Twitter’s attorneys complete their review.

Twitter attorneys argued that court rules require that five business days pass before a public version of Musk’s filing is released.

“Few cases attract as much public interest as this one, and Twitter is mindful of this court’s commitment to ensuring maximum public access to its proceedings,” wrote Twitter attorney Kevin Shannon. “Twitter is not interested in proposing more changes to defendants’ responsive pleading than necessary.”

Musk’s attorney, Edward Micheletti, argued that Twitter’s lawyers were misinterpreting the court’s rules. Musk’s lawyers also say there is no confidential information in Musk’s filing that should be withheld from the public.

“Twitter should not be allowed to continue to bury the side of the story it does not want to be revealed publicly,” Micheletti wrote.

Musk, the richest man in the world, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it privateoffering $54.20 a share and promising to loosen the company’s content policing and root out fake accounts.

Twitter shares closed Wednesday at $41, well off the 52-week high of $69.81.

Musk, indicated in July that it wanted to withdraw from the deal, prompting Twitter to file a lawsuit to keep it under the “seller-friendly” agreement.

Musk says Twitter has failed to provide him with enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service. Twitter claims Musk, CEO of electric car maker and solar energy company Tesla Inc. TSLA,
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He is deliberately trying to flood the market because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests.

Either Musk or Twitter would be entitled to a $1 billion breakup fee if the other party were found responsible for the deal’s failure. Twitter wants more, however, and is seeking a “specific performance” court order ordering Musk to proceed with the deal.

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