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Musk Claims That Paying Whistleblowers On Twitter Is Another Justification For Not Merging

Musk Claims That Paying Whistleblowers On Twitter Is Another Justification For Not Merging
Elon Musk contended that Twitter Inc's decision to pay millions of dollars to a whistleblower it had fired gives the world's richest person another justification for terminating his $44 billion agreement to buy the social media company.
In a Friday letter to Twitter, lawyers for Musk said Twitter's failure to seek his consent before paying $7.75 million to Peiter Zatko and his lawyers violated the merger agreement, which restricted when Twitter could make such payments.
The payment, which included $7 million for Zatko, "cannot be cured," and Musk is therefore "not required" to complete the merger, the letter said. A copy was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
There was no comment from Twitter on the issue.
It has declared its dedication to seeing the merger through to completion, which requires Musk to pay $54.20 per share for the San Francisco-based business. The price of Twitter stock on Friday was $42.19.
Before being let go in January, Zatko, also known as Mudge, served as Twitter's top security executive.
Later, he claimed that Twitter had misled both regulators and the public about its security procedures and approach to battling spam and hackers.
According to Musk's attorneys, Twitter and Zatko reached a separation agreement on June 28 that included the severance payment.
Ten days later, Musk, who is also the CEO of the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc., declared the merger null and void, accusing Twitter of exaggerating the prevalence of spam or bot accounts on its network.
Twitter rejected Musk's claims and sued him to hold him accountable for the merger, claiming he had changed his mind as market jitters were caused by geopolitical tensions and rising inflation.
According to court documents, Musk later countersued Twitter and on Friday updated his case to include Zatko's allegations.
The first day of a trial in Delaware Chancery Court is set for October 17.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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