Elon Musk wins round of Twitter lawsuit with subpoenaed documents

  • Musk’s lawyers last week requested documents from 22 Twitter employees.
  • The judge overseeing the case ordered documents from only one official, Kayvon Beikpour.
  • Musk is now seeking more information about the data through an additional confidential request.

Elon Musk will get some of the additional information he requested from Twitter in the lawsuit against him, and he’s trying to get even more, Insider has learned.

Judge Kathleen St. Jude McCormick on Monday ordered Twitter to partially comply with the request to compel Musk’s lawyers. They requested documents from 22 other Twitter employees who they said had information about the company’s process of analyzing spam or “bot” accounts. Twitter is already turning over information from about 41 so-called “custodians” of information as part of the case.

Musk’s request to compel the additional documentation was filed last week in confidence, meaning it does not appear in court records. Nor are his counterclaims, which accuse Twitter of a fraudulent “scheme” around user numbers and metrics. Judge McCormick’s order was granted in the case.

Musk’s lawyers also filed another confidential motion this week for the injunction, a person familiar with the matter said. Musk is now seeking to force Twitter to hand over more information about its user data and collection and analysis methods. Musk has claimed for months that Twitter has refused to hand over all the data information he has requested. Judge McCormick is expected to rule on this new motion this week.

Meanwhile, Twitter is now “required to collect, review and produce documents” from Kayvon Beykpour, the platform’s former general manager for users, according to the judge’s brief order. Beykpour joined Twitter in 2018 under then-CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey’s replacement, Parag Agrawal, fired Beikpour in May, along with several other executives. Beikpur wrote on Twitter that it was not his decision to leave the company.

While Musk’s lawyers pressed for documents from many additional Twitter employees, Judge McCormick yielded only to Beikpour. In his position leading Twitter’s consumer products division for several years, starting as head of consumer products, Beykpour likely has insight and documentation on the bot analytics Musk is looking for. Musk’s lawyers have also sought input from other employees, ranging from mid-level executives to lower-level employees, a person familiar with the situation said.

Judge McCormick’s ruling gives Musk a rare victory in a lawsuit filed by Twitter last month in an attempt to force the billionaire to honor his $44 billion deal to acquire the platform. In the initial hearing between the two sides, Judge McCormick sided with Twitter, agreeing that its case against Musk could go to trial by October.

Musk, for his part, seems to have taken a less aggressive stance on Twitter recently. At least in public. He hasn’t tweeted about the company or the case in almost two weeks. Last week, he sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock, saying it was an effort to be prepared if it is eventually ordered to acquire Twitter.

Shares of Twitter have rebounded recently, rising 16% in the past month and inching ever closer to the $54.20 a share for which Musk originally agreed to acquire the company. Such a bounce would likely complicate any attempt by Musk to argue that the company simply isn’t worth what he agreed to pay for it. People close to the deal previously told Insider that Musk’s sudden obsession with bots as a deal breaker was a move simply to get the company for less money as the stock market took a turn that significantly affected his personal wealth.

Musk’s fortunes are largely tied to Tesla shares, which have also risen in recent weeks. After falling to a yearly low in June, Tesla shares are now just under $928, just 24% off their all-time high.

Are you a Twitter employee or have information to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected] in the secure messaging app Alert at 949-280-0267 or via Twitter DM at @hayskali. Connect using a non-working device.

Leave a Comment