This Week In Elon, we’re speaking about M&A once more — however this time, we imply mergers and acquisitions — not marriages and affairs.

The Delaware Courtroom of Chancery handed Elon Musk an unfavorably speedy schedule final month in his ongoing combat to not purchase Twitter, and now we’ve obtained particular dates for the trial: Elon and Twitter will sq. off from October seventeenth to October twenty first. That leaves two and a half months for each events to combat over what proof they’ll get to introduce, and Twitter has already began digging — whereas Musk has been making ready a counterstrike with no matter dust he’s already obtained.

As The Washington Submit and the publication The Chancery Every day reported earlier this week, Twitter has forged a broad web of subpoenas over Musk’s enterprise dealings. It’s requested data from high-profile deal members like Marc Andreessen in addition to longtime Musk pals just like the organizers of the All-In Summit, the place Musk spoke extensively about Twitter’s alleged bot issues simply after he unilaterally declared the deal on maintain.

The targets, naturally, aren’t too completely happy about this. Palantir founder Joe Lonsdale, who tweeted about receiving a subpoena, known as it a “large harassing fishing expedition,” whereas All-In podcast co-host David Sacks responded with an image of a Mad journal cowl with a center finger.

It stays humorous that a lot of this drama is happening on Twitter, a platform Musk is portraying as hopelessly damaged and speculated is likely to be as much as “80 % or 90 %” bots on the summit.

Musk did a number of work recruiting folks to make the Twitter deal occur, and Twitter is outwardly hoping that would come again to hang-out him in courtroom — on prime of the whole lot he’s stated in public on Twitter itself. So the corporate is poking by means of Musk’s intensive Silicon Valley Rolodex for statements that contradict his dire claims about bots or indications that he is likely to be extra upset about different issues, just like the plummeting inventory market and his personal declining wealth.

Some Musk associates had their very own vested curiosity within the deal: days earlier than Musk’s “on maintain” tweets, as an illustration, All-In Summit co-organizer Jason Calacanis had been canvassing for traders who may again Musk’s initiative.

That’s only one prong of Twitter’s info-seeking marketing campaign. Whereas Musk has filed a few subpoenas of his personal, the full record to date is overwhelmingly heavy on Twitter’s facet, together with greater than a dozen banks and a number of other funding companies. Twitter additionally needs a number of particulars about Tesla’s enterprise operations, together with the inventory Musk bought to finance the acquisition.

For his half, Musk tapped content material moderation firm TaskUs and information analytics companies Concentrix and Innodata, plausibly to again up his claims that Twitter lied about its bot-catching prowess.

Musk’s legal professionals have been busy in their very own proper, although — though it wasn’t instantly clear how busy. Early this week, he filed his personal countersuit in opposition to Twitter. It’s spent the previous a number of days underneath seal whereas each events combat over how and when to disclose its particulars.

Twitter claims Musk caught the corporate brief by sending over a replica late final week after which attempting to unseal it early. A letter from its counsel says Musk’s countersuit refers “extensively to inner Twitter data and information,” and it’s requested for time to make redactions to the 163-page doc.

Musk’s lawyer forged the delay in a extra nefarious mild, declaring that “nothing” within the swimsuit is confidential and “Twitter shouldn’t be permitted to proceed burying the facet of the story it doesn’t need publicly disclosed.” Twitter gained in a listening to, giving the corporate till Friday afternoon to suggest redactions.

[Update: Since publication, Twitter has released the lawsuit and a response, which is composed largely of burns on Elon Musk.]

Musk obtained entry to an amazing quantity of Twitter information as a part of his acquisition, together with a “firehose” API of posted tweets. There’s a number of data he may throw right into a countersuit, the place he’ll presumably attempt to make his case that Twitter has purposely misrepresented its claims in a manner that might breach their deal.

It’s not clear that Musk will make a persuasive model of this case as a result of it’s not clear {that a} persuasive model of this case exists. If he had been sitting on a bombshell that might reveal fraud, he’s had loads of alternatives to detonate it.

Even so, if there’s one factor tech firms know by now, it’s that an antagonistic viewers granted entry to plenty of information will discover one thing nefarious-looking in it. Consider it as an extension of Masnick’s Impossibility Theorem, which holds that good content material moderation at scale is unimaginable. And if Musk can’t have Twitter on his phrases, he is likely to be very happy to assault it nevertheless he can.

Twitter has a really actual, ongoing battle with pretend or duplicate accounts. A minimum of some particulars from its API might effectively mirror that. How effectively Musk may body this as Twitter being utterly full of bots or another unsavory content material — not simply to the courtroom itself but additionally to the general public — remains to be an open query. And lots of people need a piece of Twitter, together with Texas Lawyer Normal Ken Paxton, who obtained concerned together with his personal investigation earlier this yr.

In a worst-case state of affairs for Twitter, Musk may dig up data that triggers new calls for from regulators. In a weirdest-case state of affairs, he digs up one thing damaging on Twitter… however loses the case and has to tangle with these regulators as its proprietor.

As Bloomberg’s Matt Levine has diligently outlined, making Twitter look unhealthy doesn’t essentially get Musk out of the deal, and Musk acquired Twitter partly as a result of he knew it had a number of bots and needed to do away with them. However authorized filings are a terrific place to be taught issues that firms usually don’t need you to know, and because the Twitter trial heats up, Musk may resolve he needs to punish Twitter just by utilizing the general public file.

Exterior the courtroom battle, it’s been a comparatively quiet week for Musk. Sure, some SpaceX particles, described as trying like an “alien obelisk,” might need crash-landed on an Australian farm. And apparently his father isn’t happy with him — or no less than needs folks would give the remainder of the Musk household some extra airtime. However take a look at this lovable Shiba Inu video he tweeted! We will solely hope Twitter will subpoena them, too.

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