(CNN) — Twitter is suing billionaire Elon Musk in an effort to force him to honor his deal to buy the social media company.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Delaware Chancery Court, comes after Musk said in a letter to Twitter’s top lawyer late Friday that he wants to terminate the $44 billion takeover deal.
Musk’s attorney alleged in Friday’s letter that Twitter is “in material breach of multiple provisions” of the agreement, alleging that the company has withheld data Musk requested to assess the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform. Twitter’s legal team responded in a letter Monday, calling Musk’s attempted termination of the deal “invalid and unfair” and demanding that he abide by the agreement.
The deal is now likely heading into a lengthy court battle to determine whether Twitter can force Musk to close the deal and become its owner, or at least get him to pay the $1 billion break-up fee set out in the deal. original.
After initially saying he wanted to buy Twitter to root out bots, Musk has in recent weeks expressed concern (without apparent evidence) that there are more bots on the platform than Twitter has publicly reported.
However, some analysts have suggested that Musk he simply wants an excuse to get out of a deal that now seems too expensive after the fall in shares of Twitter and the tech market in general. Shares of Tesla, which Musk relies on in part to fund the deal, have also dropped sharply since he agreed to the takeover deal.
Shares of Twitter, which rallied about 4% on Tuesday after falling sharply on Monday, are trading almost $20 below Musk’s offer price, suggesting deep skepticism about the deal going through, at least in his opinion. original price.