Twitter is demanding Elon Musk’s texts be searched and relevant ones be handed over.
Both sides are seeking more information as Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk’s acquisition evolves.
A judge overseeing the case just told Twitter to hand over documents from a former executive.
Twitter is trying to get its hands on Elon Musk’s text messages amid its $44 billion legal battle with the billionaire, new court documents show.
The company on Monday said it wants a search conducted of all of Musk’s text messages during “the relevant period” for “material” related to its lawsuit.
Twitter sued Musk last month after the billionaire attempted to back out of his April deal to acquire the company for $44 billion. Twitter’s demand for Musk’s texts came in a proposed order filed Monday which has yet to be signed off on by Judge Kathleen St. Jude McCormick who is overseeing the case.
The proposed order does not specify when exactly the “relevant period” is and many of the documents in the case so far have been filed confidentially, meaning they are not immediately made available on the court’s docket. However, the period of Musk’s texts sought by Twitter likely cover the time between when Musk first agreed to purchase the company on April 25 and when he attempted to back out of the deal via a letter from his lawyers on July 8.
A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment. Representatives of Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.
Musk and Twitter have been going back and forth for weeks on who has to produce what and how much information may be relevant to the lawsuit. On Tuesday, Musk gained a rare win after the judge ordered the social media company to hand over documents related Musk’s quest for information on spam accounts from an executive who was fired earlier this year. Musk maintains that Twitter misled him on the level of its problem with “bots,” also known as spam accounts, often meaning numerous accounts operated by a single person or entity for the purpose of pushing products or scams.
When Twitter first sued Musk, it argued that he is only attempting to back out of the deal now because his personal wealth, largely tied up in Tesla stock, fell along with the more recent downward turn of the markets. Meanwhile, Musk claims that he decided to call off the deal because Twitter refused to give him all of the company data he requested, and what he did receive showed the platform hosts so many spam accounts that its entire business is a “scheme.” Twitter said it gave Musk so much user data that it developed “very real concerns” Musk only asked for it in order to build a competing app.
Twitter is also seeking texts messages from a number of Musk’s purported associates and confidants. In a series of subpoenas to Musk’s social circle, the company asked several individuals, including billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya and PayPal co-founder David Sacks to produce and communications they’d had with Musk related to the Twitter purchase.
At the time, Sacks said he planned to fight the subpoena and dubbed the legal requests “a giant harassing fishing expedition.”
Last month, Twitter appeared to win its first major battle with Musk when the judge agreed to an expedited five-day trial. It is set to take place in early October. Multiple experts previously told Insider that Musk faces an uphill battle in his efforts to get out of the deal due to the ironclad contract he signed earlier this year.
Are you a Twitter employee or do you have insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at email@example.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.