Elon Musk is under federal investigation over his Twitter deal, Twitter claims

CNN Business

Federal authorities are investigating Elon Musk in connection with his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the social media platform said in a court filing Thursday.

It’s unclear which agencies may be leading the investigation, and Twitter has not identified the specific actions of Musk’s US officials who may be investigating. Twitter’s filing simply says authorities are looking into Musk’s “conduct” related to the deal.

The company’s court filing also accused Musk’s legal team of failing to produce a draft communication with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a slide presentation to the Federal Trade Commission in connection with the ongoing litigation between the two. parties on whether Musk can walk away from the deal.

Musk first tried to terminate the deal in July, alleging Twitter violated their mutual purchase agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform. Twitter sued Musk to complete the acquisition, accusing the billionaire of using bots as a pretext to get out of a deal he developed buyer’s remorse for following a market downturn.

Last week Musk proposed to follow with his agreement to buy the company at the originally agreed price of $54.20 per share. The judge overseeing the dispute later in the week decided to suspend the legal proceedings until October 28 following a request from Musk.

In response to Twitter’s filing on Thursday, Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, said it was designed to distract from Twitter’s own legal issues, which arose after the former security chief of the company, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, accused Twitter of long-ignored security vulnerabilities in a whistleblower.

“Twitter executives are under federal investigation,” Spiro said in a statement to CNN. “This misdirection was sent by Twitter to try to find out which of their various misconducts they are being investigated for.”

The Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the terms of a 2011 consent order with Twitter that Zatko alleges that the company violated, did not publicly disclose an investigation. But its chairman, Lina Khan, told Congress in public testimony that if Twitter executives were found to be responsible for violations of the law, the FTC “absolutely” and “wouldn’t hesitate” to hold those personally responsible leaders.

In a separate filing on Thursday, Twitter also claimed that he did not ask Zatko to burn multiple notebooks as part of a separation agreement, as Musk’s team claimed in a filing earlier this week. this month. Instead, Twitter claimed, Zatko destroyed the notebooks of his own volition.

“Twitter did not ask Zatko to set fire to his own documents, let alone do so,” the Twitter filing reads. “Twitter had no knowledge of Zatko’s notebooks and no idea what information they contained.”

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