Shares of Twitter plunged 11.3% on Wall Street Monday when Elon Musk openly mocked the social network after abandoning his plan to buy the platform for $ 44 billion, a move that opens the door to a legal battle. .

The company’s stock closed at $ 32.65 on the New York Stock Exchange, 40% less than what the billionaire had offered when he announced plans to get his hands on Twitter in mid-April.

The board of directors of the social network, which initially had no intention of selling, accepted his offer a few days later. But after several months of twists and turns, Mr. Musk made it known in a letter to Twitter on Friday that he would terminate this agreement, considering that the company had not fulfilled his commitments by not communicating the quota of fake accounts and spam.

Twitter claims that the number of inauthentic accounts on its platform is less than 5%, a figure disputed by the billionaire who believes it is much higher.

To justify his waiver, Musk also invokes several recent Twitter decisions such as a hiring freeze, contrary to his obligation for the company to continue operating normally. The reasons given by the entrepreneur do not legally justify a breach of the contract, however, several specialists argue.

The two camps are now engaged in a legal brawl, which could cost Mr. Musk a few billion dollars if he loses.

According to several American media outlets, Twitter has joined the services of the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. This same company had represented the Californian group soon after Mr. Musk’s offer in April, when the board of directors had initially chosen to resist the project before submitting it. Asked by AFP, Twitter declined to comment.

For his part, Mr. Musk shared his first reaction on Twitter on Monday since the announcement of his retirement by posting an image containing several photos in which he appears hilarious.

“They said I couldn’t buy Twitter. Then they refused to reveal false account information. Now they want to force me to buy Twitter in court. Now they have to reveal false account information,” we can read next to each shot. Soon after she posted a picture of actor Chuck Norris winning at chess, simply accompanied by the phrase “Chuckmate”, a pun on “checkmate” and the actor’s name.

Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives said, “This is an ‘extremely dangerous’ situation for Twitter and its board of directors as the company faces Musk in a Game of Thrones-style legal battle to save the deal. Or recover at least $ 1. billion in severance pay. ” “We don’t see any other bidders in evidence at this time as legal proceedings are about to begin in court,” adds the analyst.

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