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Twitter-Musk hearing to decide whether to fast-track trial

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Yahoo Finance's Alexis Keenan breaks down the latest in the Elon Musk-Twitter lawsuit.

Video Transcript


AKIKO FUJITA: Well, a hearing is underway in Delaware as Twitter's court battle with Tesla CEO Elon Musk ramps up. A judge set to weigh on Twitter's proposal for a fast track trial, which the company says is to ensure the financing doesn't fall through. Yahoo Finance's Alexis Keenan is always on top of this. And Alexis, this started around what the top of the hour. It's not expected to be a very long hearing. What are we hearing so far?

ALEXIS KEENAN: So it'll be just 90 minutes. And the arguments are already underway. And so far, Twitter's attorneys have been making their claims. Now, just to back up for a second, this is in Twitter's lawsuit to force Elon Musk to acquire this company by merger. But this hearing in particular is about whether to fast track the trial, whether to put it on a September date, as Twitter is asking for.

Musk says no, he objects to that. He says he doesn't want the trial to start until February. He said that Twitter's request is unreasonable here, that it would require the case to be worked up way too quickly for fairness' purposes.

Twitter, on the other hand, says, no. In the meantime, that this merger is up in the air, our business operations are suffering. Our stock price is suffering. And the uncertainty is also impacting our employees. Just across the board, business operations are disrupted. So they think this should happen very short order.

So far, let's though, take a look at what Twitter actually has to prove in order to win the day here, not that they can necessarily win, but to prevail and go forward on an expedited basis. They have to show to expedite the case first a colorful claim, and that just means that they have to make a plausible argument that Musk might be breaching the agreement here.

Second, Twitter has to show that it is suffering, currently suffering irreparable injury if the trial is not expedited. But the big catch here is that money damages can't suffice. That means there's no amount of money that Twitter can be given by Musk or otherwise to make them whole, to make this problem be compensated for.

So if Musk's lawyers are successful in showing that, then the judge is going to take a real pause in deciding whether to bring this case to trial more quickly. She could do something in between. She could say, well, Musk, you want post-February, Twitter, you want September. I'm going to come to something in the middle.

So we will find out very, very soon. The judge is expected to make her decision today.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Wow, so very soon. So I guess in terms of the timeline again, what we're arguing here is either later this year or the middle part of next year. What is the updated timeline based off of what we should expect to hear later on today for how the trial will proceed after that? Because that doesn't mean that we're going to get a decision on whether or not Elon has to buy this thing or not by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, right?

ALEXIS KEENAN: Right. That is true. And to add, there are reports that Musk intends on making a counterclaim. That's another thing that I'll be listening for in the hearing, because if he makes that claim, then he perhaps has some right to work up his own case there. That takes time, discovery takes time.

So there's just a lot of balls up in the air right now. But we should get some answers today as to how this case will proceed.