Although it won’t likely be the most important trial of all time, Twitter secured victory against Elon Musk in its lawsuit. He tried to halt a $4B takeover of Twitter. The Delaware Court of Chancery Clerk Kathaleen McCormick approved the request of Twitter for an expedited five-day trial. This will now take place in October.
Twitter originally requested that a trial last four days be held in September. It also asked for Musk to honor his obligations. Musk’s lawyers requested in return that the court postpone the trial to February. Musk’s lawyers claimed that Twitter was in an instant rush. In less than twelve weeks, both parties will be in court.
What is the Court Jester?
Musk’s win is not reflected in the fact that Twitter received an expedited trial earlier than Musk would have liked.
James Bailey, professor of leadership and management at George Washington University School of Business said that Musk’s exit from Twitter was yet another sign of the man-boy who thinks the world is his oyster.
Bailey stated that Musk had hoped to make a name for himself as a media mogul by purchasing Twitter. He didn’t have enough to do as a car and space mogul. Poor Elon. Elon hesitated when he disclosed all of his Twitter information. He made the decision to quit. He also hoped for support from the legal system as well as public opinion.
Bailey explained further that Musk’s move could damage his reputation and possibly even his ego. He’ll still be fine in public’s eyes. Another question is whether he’ll ever be fine again with Wall Street.
This could be the beginning of Musk’s legal troubles.
Associate professor of communication at Maryville University, Dr. Dustin York said, “Look out for Musk to face quite a few lawsuits. Particularly from Twitter stockholders.”
The Most Important Thing You Don’t Need to Know
All of the global problems, such as the war in Ukraine or the record heatwave in North America and Europe have caused concern, but now we will focus our attention on what was really a bad business deal.
“The Musk-Twitter sideshow just continues in the exact same vein as its implodes and explodes, and devolves into a legal battlefield,” said Rebecca Weintraub. She is emerita founder director of the online master of communications management program at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California.
Twitter might have anticipated this result, given the inherent unpredictability of Elon Musk’s stock in trade. She said that, regardless of Musk’s intentions or not it comes out looking terrible. Twitter’s initial hesitation in handing over their curated platform was replaced by a handshake that is platinum. Twitter suffered as they demonstrated once again that every thing has a price. Musk’s name, on the other hand, was just reinforced. He’s the perpetual disruptor. It didn’t matter if he was declaring there would no censoring tweets or telling employees that they would continue to work if they had exceptional skills (without even defining the term) or demanding extremely detailed data about bots. He did not care what response came. As long as it was loud.
The Time for Change
Twitter’s future is certain, regardless of what happens in the trial. It is not clear how important.
Twitter’s implications are very limited. Bailey stated that while there may be a handful of other sites offering ham sandwiches and immediate opinions, they are far away from Twitter. Twitter isn’t ‘the thing’ anymore. It is a commodity and a target of takeovers, especially since it trades lower. Twitter, like Instagram’s acquisition of Facebook by Facebook will continue to be a powerful force.
York however suggested that Twitter’s changes could be much greater.
York said that a strategic subscription model will be needed, as well as increasing the media use of the app to increase its audience. York agreed. While it’s not clear if Twitter is capable of making these changes, the fact that Twitter has demonstrated its ability to adapt in the past shows how agile they can be.
It’s not clear what it means for Musk.
York said that Musk will continue to enjoy a good reputation for his work on a large scale. York said that Musk will continue to be the mad scientist and billionaire in the media. His reputation won’t change except with Morgan Stanley banks when Musk is looking to finance future multi-billion-dollar acquisitions. His investment is now more risky than it was six months ago.
This could also be an opportunity to win without any winners.
Weintraub said that Twitter has suffered a loss of integrity and reputation, however, the proverbial bleeding nose which resulted from the deal’s legal non-binding will eventually heal with smart strategic planning. Musk reinforced his unstable and unpredictable approach to business partners and business deals. We will see how it plays out for him over time.