- Musk cited that failing to seek his consent before paying the whistleblower provides another legal basis to break the merger deal.
- Musk' lawyers claim a multi-million dollar severance payment was made in June to departing security chief Peiter Zatko.
- The trial for the take over begins in October.
Tesla chief on Friday claims to have found a new reason to scrap the agreement to buy the microblogging behemoth. Amidst the ongoing legal dispute over the $44 million deal Musk cited Twitter’s decision to pay millions of dollars to a whistleblower it had fired a rationale to call off the deal.
Musk made his comments after learning that Twitter had decided to pay the whistleblower $7 million “to settle a dispute,” according to a report.
Elon Musk’s lawyers said in a letter to the social media company, “Twitter’s failure to seek his consent before paying $7.75 million to Peiter Zatko (whistleblower) and his lawyers violated the merger agreement, which restricted when Twitter could make such payments.”
Both sides are gearing up for an October trial of Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk to consummate the deal. Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick on Wednesday approved Musk’s bid to add Zatko’s allegations to his counterclaims. But she denied his bid to delay the trial.
The billionaire argues Zatko raised concerns about the number of bots embedded in Twitter’s customer base along with allegations of lax computer security and privacy issues before being fired from the social media platform. Musk contends Zatko’s claims bolster his arguments that he legitimately nixed the deal.