By MATT O’BRIEN
AP Technology Writer
Elon Musk’s monthslong tussle with Twitter took another twist this week when the Tesla billionaire seemed to return to where he started in April — offering to buy the company for $44 billion.
But it’s not over yet. Twitter says it intends to close the deal at the agreed-upon price, but the two sides are still booked for an Oct. 17 trial in Delaware over Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal.
On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she will “continue to press on toward our trial” because neither side has formally moved to stop it.
IS THE TRIAL STILL ON?
Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, the Delaware Chancery Court’s head judge, hasn’t explicitly weighed in on Musk’s new proposal, but in a Wednesday ruling on an unrelated evidence dispute she made clear that nothing had changed.
“The parties have not filed a stipulation to stay this action, nor has any party moved for a stay,” she wrote. “I, therefore, continue to press on toward our trial set to begin on October 17.”
Musk’s lawyer told Twitter this week that the Tesla CEO will complete the deal as long as he lines up the promised debt financing and provided that the Delaware Chancery Court drops Twitter’s lawsuit against him. But Twitter is unlikely to give up on its legal proceedings unless it confirms that the deal is for real this time and not a tactical gambit.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The most immediate next step looming for Musk is that Twitter lawyers have been preparing to grill him about the April deal in a deposition set to begin Thursday.
The interview is scheduled to happen in Austin, Texas, not far from Tesla’s headquarters, after wrangling between the two sides over when and where it would take place. An earlier meeting was postponed after Musk raised concerns about COVID-19 transmission.
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