Elon Musk is still trying his hardest to get out of his deal to purchase Twitter. He has now sent an additional letter of deal termination after he subpoenaed a whistleblower seeking documents on how the social media company measures spam accounts.
The world’s richest man walked away from a $44-billion offer for Twitter in July, saying the social media platform misled him and regulators about the true number of spam or bot accounts.
According to the latest court filing, Musk sought information from a whistleblower and former head of Twitter’s security Peiter Zatko mostly about the way the platform measures spam accounts.
Zatko’s complaint became public last week. He is a famed hacker known as “Mudge”. In his complaint, he said Twitter falsely claimed it had a solid security plan and prioritized user growth over reducing spam.
Following this disclosure, Musk’s legal team said allegations on certain facts, which were known to Twitter prior to his purchase date but not disclosed to him, have come to light that provides additional and distinct bases to end the takeover deal.
The subpoena to Zatko comes in the run-up to a five-day trial between Musk and Twitter, set to begin Oct. 17. Musk may want to back out of the deal, but Twitter wants Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick to order him to buy it at the agreed-upon $54.20 per share.
There was an additional termination notice dated August 29, delivered in case the July 8 notice was determined to be invalid for any reason.
Musk has been trying to get out of the deal practically since it was announced. It comes amid stock prices falling, as well as what experts say is a bit of a PR stunt. Musk likes to hammer on about free speech, aligning himself with more of the far-right of the Internet, and has criticized Twitter frequently over the years.
Some say Musk only bought Twitter as a media stunt, and now has buyer’s remorse. Twitter shares fell again yesterday, down 2.5 percent before the bell.