(Reuters) — Elon Musk can use a whistleblower’s claims in his legal case against Twitter Inc, but the billionaire cannot delay the trial over his attempt to walk away from his $44 billion deal for the company, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
“I am convinced that even a four-week delay would risk further injury to Twitter,” wrote Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, confirming that the trial will start next month.
Shares of Twitter rose about 4% in early Wednesday trading to $40.15.
Musk’s legal team argued Tuesday that justice required delaying the five-day trial so Musk could investigate claims by whistleblower Peiter Zatko, known as “Mudge,”; that Twitter hid weaknesses in its security and data privacy.
Musk’s first case against Twitter alleged that the company misrepresented the presence of spam or bot accounts on the platform.
Last month, Zatko’s allegations became public, giving Musk, the world’s richest person, new ammunition to bolster what legal experts said was a long-running effort to walk away without paying a $1 billion termination fee.
“We look forward to presenting our case in court beginning on October 17 and intend to close the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
In July, Twitter sued Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc., to hold him to his April agreement to buy the company for $54.20 a share. The company has argued that Musk got cold feet on the deal when global politics and inflation rocked markets soon after the deal was signed.