The latest reason Musk is pulling out of his Twitter deal is paying whistleblowers.

The latest reason Musk is pulling out of his Twitter deal is paying whistleblowers.

Legal battle begins over Elon Musk’s attempt to backtrack on his chaotic bid to buy Twitter – Copyright AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Elon Musk on Friday added a severance package made by Twitter to a whistleblower to a list of reasons why he feels he has the right to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform.

The firing letter sent to Twitter accused the firm of failing to tell him about a multimillion-dollar severance package it paid in June to outgoing security chief Peter Zatko, who then filed a whistleblower complaint criticizing Twitter’s security practices, according to copy letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk’s lawyers argued that the failure to obtain his consent before Zatko’s payment provided another legal basis for terminating the Twitter merger he signed in April.

Twitter disagreed.

“My friend seems to be claiming that Twitter should have unreasonably informed Musk of the existence of a disgruntled former employee who made various allegations that were investigated and found to be unfounded,” Twitter attorney William Savitt said earlier this week.

“It doesn’t make any sense.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Musk, the richest man in the world, said in his original termination letter that he was canceling the deal because he was misled by Twitter about the number of bot accounts on its platform, an allegation denied by the company.

Earlier this week, Kathleen McCormick, the Delaware court chancellor who oversees the case, said in a controversial ruling that Musk could add to Zatko’s August revelations.

But she declined his request to delay the lawsuit, saying that extending the lawsuit “risks too much harm to Twitter to be justified.”

Musk has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Twitter ever since he announced in July that he was pulling out of his purchase of the company after a complicated, volatile, months-long courtship.

The five-day trial is due to begin October 17 in Delaware court.

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