Before Elon Musk announced on Oct. 4 that he would proceed with taking Twitter private in a $44 billion deal, the billionaire had cancelled a key deposition.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has spent the past few months in a legal wrangle with Twitter, a social media platform, when he did an abrupt turn on July 8 and announced he no longer wanted to acquire the company founded by Jack Dorsey.
Depositions had been taking place ahead of the trial that was scheduled to start on Oct. 17 in Delaware because Twitter challenged Musk withdrawing his offer.
Musk had blamed Twitter and said the company lied to him about the number of spam bots or fake accounts on the platform.
Twitter filed a complaint and had asked the Delaware Chancery Court to compel Musk to make good on his commitment.
Musk changed his mind again and announced on Oct. 4 that he would proceed with the deal, but named one caveat: Twitter's suit in the Delaware Chancery Court must be dropped.
An agreement between Musk and Twitter to end the legal battle has not been announced yet, prompting the judge in the case to state that it would continue.
"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 Oct. 17, 2022," wrote Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the judge on Delaware's Court of Chancery.
Before Musk announced the deal, he had already cancelled his Sept. 28 deposition, blaming it on “Covid exposure risk” even though in March 2020 he had famously decried the pandemic would be over in a few weeks.
He cited concerns about a Twitter attorney's possible exposure to another person who tested positive later for covid-19, according to a court filing made public on Oct. 4.
The deposition had been scheduled for two days in Austin and was in person. Upon Musk's cancellation, Twitter sought to reschedule the deposition for Oct. 6 and 7 in Wilmington, Delaware, the location of the trial that was set to start in three weeks.
Musk's Covid Tweets
Musk had been a strong opponent of covid-19 restrictions and did not hesitate to tweet about his often contentious viewpoints. His tweets about mandates for covid-19 protections were plentiful and many were proven to be falsehoods such stating the virus did not impact children.
Other tweets about the pandemic were not well received such as when he said in March 2020 that covid “panic is dumb.”
The billionaire also ran afoul of the workplace mandates that Alameda county, California had set in May 2020 because of the surge of coronavirus cases. Tesla's manufacturing plant in Fremont, California is in Alameda county. The county had set restrictions for everyone to shelter in place and that only essential employees could work.
But Musk, who is combative, said on May 11 in a tweet, "Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules, I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."