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Judge gives Elon Musk and Twitter until the end of the month to close their deal

Elon Musk has until Oct. 28 to close the deal to purchase Twitter, a judge ruled on Thursday. Here, the Tesla CEO smiles while on stage at an event in Norway in August.
NTB/AFP via Getty Images
Elon Musk has until Oct. 28 to close the deal to purchase Twitter, a judge ruled on Thursday. Here, the Tesla CEO smiles while on stage at an event in Norway in August.

A Delaware judge has set a deadline of October 28 for Tesla CEO Elon Musk to make good on his promise to buy Twitter.

Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick postponed a high-stakes trial that was to start in a little more than a week.

The billionaire and the social media company agree on the price tag of $54.20 a share, or about $44 billion, but are bickering over the terms of a merger that's been on the rocks almost since it was signed six months ago.

Musk had asked the court to call off the trial because he was willing to buy the company after all. Twitter had resisted, saying that, without a court trial looming, Musk might back out of the agreement still. McCormick left the door open to reschedule the trial in November if the parties can't close the deal by her deadline.

After months of arguing in court to get out of a binding contract that he signed, Musk had a change of heart earlier this week. He told Twitter he was willing to proceed with the deal under the original terms.

"Twitter will not take yes for an answer," his lawyers wrote in a filing Thursday.

Twitter is wary because Musk tried to walk away from the binding contract before, in July, after publicly questioning the amount of fake accounts on the social network.

In a filing Thursday, Twitter said it was unwilling to trust Musk, calling his renewed proposal "an invitation to further mischief and delay."

Twitter's lawsuit against Musk was wrapping up its discovery phase and moving full steam ahead toward trial, with Musk scheduled for a deposition on Thursday.

His legal team wrote that the financing for the deal is all lined up and ready to go. But Twitter told the court that a bank representative said one of Musk's lenders hasn't yet received what they need from Musk to close the transaction.

Musk first agreed to buy Twitter in April, then publicly expressed his misgivings about the deal as tech stocks slumped.

Now, six months later, Twitter's lawyers contend Musk owes its stockholders the original amount of $44 billion, plus interest.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Raquel Maria Dillon
Raquel Maria Dillon has worked on both sides of the country, on both sides of the mic, at Member stations and now as an editor with Morning Edition. She specializes in documenting wildfires and other national disasters, translating the intricacies of policy into plain English and explaining the implications of climate change.