ELON Musk may have to pay billions in damages after walking away from his deal to buy Twitter, according to legal experts.
The Tesla mogul, 51, appeared to pull the plug on the $44billion takeover on July 8.
Musk’s lawyers claimed Twitter bosses had failed or refused to respond to several requests for information on the number of fake bots on the social media site.
A lawsuit filed by Musk’s team has accused the social networking giant of being in “material breach” of the agreement.
Musk is also walking away amid reports that Twitter fired one-third of its talent acquisition team, according to Reuters.
A top M&A lawyer told CNBC that Musk could have to pay billions of damages – on top of the $1billion break-up fee that was agreed.
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Elon Musk ‘dodges questions on terminated Twitter deal’ in Sun Valley speech
Shares of Twitter fell by 6 percent on Friday afternoon as news of the planned termination broke.
Twitter officials have revealed that they plan to take legal action.
Chairman Bret Taylor said: “The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.”
One source told Reuters that officials hope legal action will start within weeks.
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Musk attended the prestigious annual Sun Valley conference on July 9 but reportedly dodged questions about the takeover.
Instead of talking about the collapse of the deal, he instead focused his attention on SpaceX and his plans to go to Mars, attendees revealed.
He reportedly described his planned Mars colony as “civilization life insurance”.
Sources told Reuters that Musk also spoke of boosting birth rates on Earth, just days after it was reported that he and a top female executive at his Neuralink company had welcomed twins.
Musk tweeted that he is doing his best to help "the underpopulation crisis".
Musk posted a viral meme as he lashed out at Twitter.
It features four pictures of a chuckling mouth, each with a harder laugh than the last.
The meme states: “They said I couldn’t buy Twitter, then they wouldn’t disclose bot info.
“Now they want to force me to buy Twitter in court; now they have to disclose bot info in court.”
The meme has been retweeted more than 65,000 times and liked by more than 542,000 Twitter users.
Musk’s decision to walk away comes just weeks after Twitter’s board recommended unanimously that shareholders should approve the takeover.
But, the entrepreneur expressed concern in May about the number of spam accounts as he seemed to hit the pause button.
He tweeted: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."
Musk’s hold-up at the time caused Twitter’s share price to drop by 19 per cent.
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