Elon Musk could be forced by a US court to complete his $44bn takeover of Twitter, according to legal experts, despite pulling the plug on the transaction.
The Tesla chief executive told Twitter on Friday that he is terminating the deal, citing concerns over the number of spam accounts on the social media platform.
Twitter’s chairman, Bret Taylor, responded with a tweet stating that the company intended to “pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement”.
On Sunday night, Bloomberg reported that Twitter had assembled a legal team to sue Musk.
One legal expert said he expected Twitter to file a lawsuit in Delaware, the US state that has jurisdiction over the deal, as soon as Monday.
“They will likely be asking for a declaratory judgment that they are not in violation of the contract. Also, they will ask for an order from the court that Musk specifically perform his obligations under the agreement,” said Brian Quinn, an associate professor at Boston College law school.
Under the terms of the agreement the company can ask a judge for “specific performance”, which would compel Musk to buy the company for the $54.20 a share he agreed to in April. Alternatively, the company can also seek a $1bn break fee from Musk for walking away from the deal in contravention of the agreement.