Judge Kathaleen McCormick ruled that the Elon Musk vs. Twitter trial will be put on hold so that the two parties can work out a deal.
Earlier this week, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO finally agreed to pay $54.20 per share for Twitter, the same $44 billion deal he proposed in April. This afternoon, Musk’s legal team filed to stay the trial, arguing that there’s no reason for the trial to continue since they agreed to make the deal. But as the judge pointed out yesterday, the trial cannot be called off until both parties agree. Twitter responded to Musk’s team’s filing with its own declaration that Musk has not met his contractual obligation — in other words, Twitter won’t take Musk’s word until it sees that $44 billion.
Now the judge is giving Musk’s team a chance to follow through on their plan. Since Musk’s team said that they expect they could close by October 28, the judge is going to see if he can stay true to his word.
“Defendants have stated that ‘the closing is expected on or around October 28, 2022,'” the judge wrote. “This action is stayed until 5 p.m. on October 28, 2022, to permit the parties to close on the transaction. If the transaction does not close by 5 p.m. on October 28, 2022, the parties are instructed to contact me by email that evening to obtain November 2022 trial dates.”
So, for now, the trial is on hold until either Musk closes or the clock strikes five on October 28.
Though Musk’s team has expressed confidence in their ability to close the deal, Reuters has reported this week that two potential backers of the deal, Apollo Global Management and Sixth Street Partners, are no longer in talks with Musk.
(Disclosure: TechCrunch’s parent company Yahoo is owned by Apollo, but we do not have any further knowledge of their involvement).