Elon Musk wins round in Twitter case with subpoenaed documents

  • Last week, Musk’s lawyers demanded the release of documents from 22 Twitter employees.
  • The judge overseeing the case ordered documents from an employee, Kayvon Beykpour.
  • Musk is now seeking more information about the data through an additional motion filed confidentially.

Elon Musk will get some of the additional information he’s demanded from Twitter in its lawsuit against him, and he’s trying for even more, Insider has learned.

Judge Kathleen St. Jude McCormick ordered Twitter on Monday to partially comply with a motion to compel Musk’s lawyers. They requested documents from an additional 22 Twitter employees who said they had information about the company’s process for analyzing spam or “bot” accounts. Twitter is already handing over information from about 41 so-called “custodians” of the information as part of the case.

Musk’s motion to compel the additional documentation was filed last week on a confidential basis, meaning it does not appear in the court record. Neither are their counterclaims accusing Twitter of a fraudulent “scheme” around their user numbers and metrics. McCormick’s order was made available on the record.

Musk’s lawyers also filed another confidential motion to compel this week, a person familiar with the case said. Musk is now seeking to compel Twitter to hand over more information about its user data and collection and analysis methods. Musk has said for months that Twitter has refused to hand over all the data information he has requested. McCormick is expected to rule on that new motion this week.

Meanwhile, Twitter is now “required to collect, review and produce documents” from Kayvon Beykpour, the platform’s former chief consumer officer, according to the judge’s brief order. Beykpour joined Twitter in 2018 under then-CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey’s replacement, Parag Agrawal, fired Beykpour in May, along with several other executives. Beykpour he tweeted that it was not his decision to leave the company.

While Musk’s lawyers pushed for the production of documents from many additional Twitter employees, McCormick yielded only to Beykpour. In his position leading the consumer products side of Twitter for years, starting as head of consumer products, Beykpour likely has the knowledge and documentation of the bot analytics Musk is looking for. Musk’s lawyers also sought information from other employees, ranging from mid-level executives to lower-level employees, a person familiar with the situation said.

McCormick’s decision gives Musk a rare victory in the lawsuit Twitter filed last month to force the billionaire to honor his agreement to acquire the platform for $44 billion. At the initial hearing between the two sides, McCormick sided with Twitter by agreeing that its case against Musk could go to trial in October.

Musk, meanwhile, seems to have taken a less aggressive stance on Twitter lately, at least publicly. He hasn’t tweeted about the company or the case in almost two weeks. Last week, he sold nearly $7 billion in Tesla stock, saying it was an effort to be ready if it is eventually ordered to acquire Twitter.

Twitter shares have rebounded more recently, rising 16% in the past month and inching ever closer to the $54.20 per share for which Musk initially agreed to acquire the company. That rebound is likely to hamper any attempt by Musk to argue that the company simply isn’t worth what he agreed to pay for it. People close to the deal previously told Insider that Musk’s sudden obsession with robots being a deal breaker was a move to simply get the company for less money as the stock market took a turn, which significantly affected his personal wealth.

Musk’s fortune is largely tied to Tesla shares, which have also risen in recent weeks. After falling to a yearly low in June, Tesla shares are now just under $928, a 24% discount from their all-time high.

Are you a Twitter employee or have information to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected] in the secure messaging app signal at 949-280-0267, or via Twitter DM @hayskali. Contact a broken device.

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