Twitter has filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk for violating his contract to buy the social media platform for US$44 billion.
The billionaire agreed to buy the company in April, but shortly afterwards indicated that the number of bot accounts he felt was being understated by the company was a major issue.
The Tesla CEO finally terminated the deal at the end of last week, citing material breach of multiple provisions of the agreement.
Now Twitter has sued Musk in Delaware saying he refuses to honour his obligations because the deal "no longer serves his personal interests".
"Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away," the lawsuit states.
Twitter denied Musk's claims that it had breached the agreement, saying they "lack any merits".
"Musk, by contrast, has been acting against this deal since the market started turning, and has breached the merger agreement repeatedly in the process," the lawsuit states.
"He has purported to put the deal on 'hold' pending satisfaction of imaginary conditions, breached his financing efforts obligations in the process, violated his obligations to treat requests for consent reasonably and to provide information about financing status, violated his non-disparagement obligation, misused confidential information, and otherwise failed to employ required efforts to consummate the acquisition."
The lawsuit alleges that part of the reason Musk wants to walk away is due to the downturn in the market since the agreement was signed at the end of April.
It also noted his personal wealth had fallen by more than US$100 billion since it peaked in November 2021.
"So Musk wants out. Rather than bear the cost of the market downturn, as the merger agreement requires, Musk wants to shift it to Twitter's stockholders."
HYPOCRISY AND BAD FAITH
It also shows the "disdain" he has shown for the company, the lawsuit states, not something that would be expected from the would-be owner.
"Musk has repeatedly disparaged Twitter and the deal, creating business risk for Twitter and downward pressure on its share price.
"Musk's exit strategy is a model of hypocrisy. Musk's strategy is also a model of bad faith."
The lawsuit contains numerous screenshots of the billionaire's tweets, including a reply to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal that was just a poop emoji.
The company also cited Musk's recent meme-posts, including one featuring which suggested any lawsuit was simply giving him what he wanted.
"Musk posted Tweets implying that his data requests were never intended to make progress toward consummating the merger, but rather were part of a plan to force litigation in which Twitter's information would be publicly disclosed.
"For Musk, it would seem, Twitter, the interests of its stockholders, the transaction Musk agreed to, and the court process to enforce it all constitute an elaborate joke.
"Musk's conduct simply confirms that he wants to escape the binding contract he freely signed, and to damage Twitter in the process."
Twitter has asked the court to order Musk to "consummate the closing in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement".
Musk hasn't responded to the lawsuit, aside from a tweet presumably referencing the news which just said "Oh the irony lol".