A judge recently allowed Elon Musk to use words from Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko as part of the countersuit arguments against the company. But it looks like Musk decided to use the Zatko claims not only to win the case, but also the fact that ” the former Twitter executive received a settlement to walk out of the $44 billion acquisition deal he struck with the social network reports Engadget.
Indeed, according to the Washington Post, Musk’s lawyers sent a letter to Twitter stating that the severance package worth $7.75 million (about 7.71 million euros) that she paid to Zatko in June violated a provision of their sales agreement.
Twitter would have voluntarily hidden certain information
The letter that Musk’s attorneys wrote was uploaded to the SEC’s website. It states that Twitter violated a merger agreement that states that in the event of a termination, the company will not provide severance or benefits to any service providers to the company, other than payment of severance benefits. For information, former employees of the company are considered service providers of the company.
Importantly, Musk and Twitter entered into a purchase agreement in April. However, Zatko received his severance package last June. It should be noted that the company had not sought Musk’s opinion before making this payment. She also did not bother to inform him of the payment, the lawyers revealed in the letter.
One case leads to another
Musk only found out about the settlement when Twitter included the information in its court filing on September 3. Thus, Musk’s camp argues that the settlement serves as an additional basis for terminating the parties’ purchase agreement. According to The Post, Twitter will have to justify that granting a large payment to a former employee is nothing out of the ordinary.
For the moment, Twitter has not yet made a statement. It is important to recall the facts in order to better understand the story. Zatko, known as Mudge, had accused Twitter of having poor security. He filed a lawsuit alleging that Twitter had violated terms agreed upon in settling a privacy dispute with the FTC in 2011. He also added that the company was lying about the actual number of bots. Thus, Twitter and Musk must face each other in court during a trial that will last five days from October 17.