Judge orders Twitter to turn over to Elon Musk data from 2021 users audit | Twitter

Elon Musk may have access to Twitter data used in an audit of active users in 2021, but other information the billionaire is seeking in a bid to end his $44 billion deal to buy the company has been rejected as “absurdly broad,” a judge ruled Thursday.

Twitter is due to hand over data from the 9,000 sampled accounts in the fourth quarter as part of its process for estimating the number of spam accounts.

Twitter had said the data did not exist and it would be tedious to collect. Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick gave the company two weeks to produce the data.

Musk claimed the company defrauded him by misrepresenting the number of actual users in its financial information he relied on to make his takeover bid and he wanted the data to back up Twitter’s spam estimates.

“We look forward to reviewing the data that Twitter has been hiding for many months,” Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, said in an emailed statement.

Twitter declined to comment.

A five-day trial is scheduled for October 17.

McCormick also denied numerous other data requests from Musk.

“Defendants’ requests for data are absurdly broad. Read literally, defendants’ request for documents would require plaintiff to produce trillions and trillions of data points,” she wrote.

Musk, the world’s richest person, said he wanted to test the accuracy of this audit because he believes the company fraudulently declared only 5% of its accounts to be spam. He wants McCormick to decide he can walk away from the deal.

Twitter wants McCormick to order Musk to complete the deal at the agreed price of $54.20 per share. Shares briefly rose about 1% after the decision and ended up 0.6% at $41.05.

Twitter said in a court hearing on Wednesday that Musk’s focus on spam was “legally irrelevant” because the company described spam counts in regulatory filings as an estimate and not a representation. He also said the actual level of spam could be higher.

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