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Elon Musk Asked Twitter for a Discount and a Deposition Delay


A photo of Elon Musk laughing while holding a microphone is shown.

Your expression when you’re the richest man in the world and you still ask for discounts.
Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB / AFP (Getty Images)

Tesla CEO and potential Twitter owner Elon Musk made the internet erupt like a volcano on Tuesday when he decided he would buy the social media platform he has spent months dissing at the original $44 billion price. However, before Musk, the richest man in the world, decided to honor the deal he agreed to months ago, he asked for multiple discounts and a delay to his pretrial deposition. Twitter said yes to only one.

In recent weeks, Musk’s representatives queried Twitter multiple times about selling the company at a discount, according to a report in the New York Times published on Wednesday. At one point, Musk’s team floated a 30% discount on Twitter, the outlet stated, which would have valued the company at $31 billion. Twitter held its ground and said no.

This past week, the tech billionaire’s team reportedly went back and asked for a 10% discount, which Twitter rejected again. The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times also reported that Musk and Twitter were discussing discounts to the acquisition price. Both outlets concurred with the Times, stating that the discount talks went nowhere.

Twitter told Gizmodo on Thursday morning that it had no comment on the Times report.

That brings us to Tuesday, when a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that Musk sent Twitter a letter saying he would go through with the purchase at the original $44 billion price if the social media platform agreed to halt legal proceedings against him, set to begin later this month. Twitter said it has received the offer and is inclined to accept but has not submitted an official filing saying so. Some experts speculate that Musk suddenly decided to go through with the deal to buy Twitter because he realized he was likely to lose the case in court, while others theorize that the billionaire really did not want to testify under oath this week. He was scheduled to be deposed Thursday and Friday but abruptly canceled, according to a filing from Twitter’s lawyers.

The social media company agreed to delay Musk’s deposition, which was scheduled for today in Austin, Texas, while the litigants go back to the negotiating table, according to the Financial Times. The billionaire was previously set to be questioned under oath for two days by Twitter’s lawyers in the case. 

As for the trial, it is still set to begin on Oct. 17, presiding Judge Kathaleen McCormick said in a letter filed with the Delaware Court of Chancery on Wednesday. Despite Musk’s request for Twitter to pause legal proceedings, McCormick explained that neither party has taken formal action to do so.

“The parties have not filed a stipulation to stay this action, nor has any party moved for a stay. I, therefore, continue to press on toward our trial set to begin on October 17, 2022,” McCormick wrote.

In an email, Twitter said it had no comment on reports that it had delayed Musk’s deposition. Musk’s team did not respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo on the Times report and whether the social media platform had agreed to delay the billionaire’s deposition by press time.



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