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Twitter has accused Elon Musk in its lawsuit of abandoning plans to buy the company because the stock market turmoil made the deal more difficult for him. But Musk shot back in a legal filing that it was Twitter that sabotaged the $44 billion acquisition.

Musk has argued that Twitter concealed the true number of fake accounts on its platform, accusing the company of fraud. Musk’s legal team claims such accounts account for at least 10 percent of Twitter’s daily active users who view ads, reiterating concerns he expressed shortly after signing the agreement in April. Twitter insists the number is less than 5%.

“Twitter miscounted the number of fake and spam accounts on its platform as part of its plan to mislead investors about the company’s prospects,” Musk’s lawyers wrote. “Twitter’s disclosures have slowly unraveled. , Twitter frantically closed the door to information, desperately trying to prevent Musk from all parties exposing his fraud.”

Confidential documents from last Friday, some of which were Twitter revealed on Thursday The response, which denied many of Mr Musk’s claims, was his first broad response in what was expected to be a protracted legal battle between the social media company and one of the world’s richest men. A trial is scheduled for October.

“His claims are actually inaccurate, legally inadequate, and not business-related,” Twitter chairman Brett Taylor said in a statement Thursday.

Mr. Musk, who started snapping up Twitter shares earlier this year, had amassed a majority stake in the company by April. He rejected Twitter’s offer to join its board, and instead launched a swift and aggressive takeover attempt. But once Twitter agreed to buy, Musk became skeptical. In July, he said he no longer wanted to buy the company.

Twitter sued him in Delaware Chancery Court in an attempt to force the acquisition through. Twitter said he had lost interest in the deal as the market tumbled and shares in Tesla, the electric car maker that is the main source of Musk’s wealth, fell.

“Musk has refused to meet his obligations to Twitter and its shareholders because the transactions he signed were no longer in his personal interests,” Twitter said in the lawsuit.

Over the past few days, the company has issued subpoenas to Musk’s banks, financial partners and colleagues to communicate about the deal to clarify the reasons for Musk’s decision to leave.

The deal includes a “performance-specific” clause that would allow Twitter to sue to force the deal through, as long as the billionaire’s debt for the acquisition is in place. But if the funding fails, Musk could pay a $1 billion fee to walk out of the deal.

Mr Musk insists that Twitter is riddled with fake accounts and that the company has misled him about the true number of imposters on its platform. Fake accounts are used to spread spam or manipulate Twitter’s service by falsely amplifying trends, and are often automated rather than run by real people.

This is a developing story. Check for updates.

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