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Twitter accepts Oct. 17 trial but is concerned Musk will try to delay


(Reuters) — Twitter Inc. does not object to a proposal by Elon Musk to start on Oct. 17 a trial over Mr. Musk’s bid to walk away from his $44 billion acquisition deal, but the social media company wants a commitment to complete the trial in five days, Twitter said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Mr. Musk has said he needs time to complete a thorough investigation of what he says is Twitter’s misrepresentation of fake accounts, which he said breached their deal terms.

He originally sought a February trial, but on Tuesday proposed an Oct. 17 trial after a judge ruled the proceeding was to start in three months.

Twitter has called the fake accounts a distraction and pushed for the trial to hold Mr. Musk to the deal to start as soon as possible, arguing that delay damages its business. It said in its court filing that Mr. Musk has offered no assurance a trial would be completed in five days, as ordered by the judge, Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery.

“Twitter sought that commitment because it believes Musk’s objective remains to delay trial, render impracticable the Court’s expedition order, and thus avoid adjudication of his contractual obligations,” said the Twitter filing.

Attorneys for Mr. Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc., did not respond to requests for comment.

Twitter also dismissed Mr. Musk’s claims that the company was dragging its feet in responding to his demands for documents. Twitter said Mr. Musk is the one holding up the process by refusing to answer the company’s complaint, which it said would clarify the issues and any counterclaims he may assert.

Shares of Twitter closed up 1.3% at $39.85 on Wednesday. Mr. Musk agreed to acquire the company for $54.20 a share.