Elon Musk accused Twitter of fraud in a countersuit over his aborted $44 billion deal for the social media company, which he said held back necessary information and misled his team about its true user base, according to media reports.
According to The Washington Post, the countersuit filed by the billionaire and Tesla CEO Thursday alleges that Twitter committed fraud, breach of contract and violation of the Texas Securities Act.
Musk's counterclaims were filed confidentially last week and unsealed in a filing late Thursday at the Delaware Chancery Court, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Musk had offered to buy the company earlier this year, then tried to back out of the deal by claiming the social platform was infested with much larger numbers of “spam bots” and fake accounts than Twitter had disclosed.
Shares of Twitter slid more than 9% in the first day of trading after Musk said that he was abandoning his $44 billion bid for the company.
Twitter sued to force him to complete the acquisition. Musk responded by filing his countersuit.
Musk's attorneys argued that Twitter’s own disclosures revealed that it has 65 million fewer “monetizable daily active users,” who can be shown digital ads, than the 238 million that Twitter claims, the Post and the Journal reported.
The filing also said most of Twitter's ads are shown only to a sliver of the company's user base, the Post said.
In an unexpected twist, Twitter filed its response denying Musk's accusations before Musk’s own counterclaims surfaced.
Twitter called Musk’s reasoning “a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive.”
The case is scheduled to go to trial on October 17.