Twitter investors are reportedly suing Elon Musk over his handling of the much-hyped bid to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.
The lawsuit accuses the SpaceX multi-billionaire of failing to disclose his purchase of over 5 percent of Twitter by March 14, 2022, according to Reuters. Through keeping this quiet, they alleged he managed to save himself $156 million in the deal.
The investors argue that Musk continued to buy stock after this, before publically disclosing in early April that he owned 9.2 percent of the company.
It’s also claimed that Musk used his strong Twitter presence, with over 95 million followers, to put out "misleading" information. Earlier in May, Musk said he was putting the brakes on the deal until he got more information about spam bots and fake accounts on the platform.
The investors, on the other hand, argue that Musk is playing dirty tricks to “disparage” the social media platform and snatch the deal at a low price.
"By delaying his disclosure of his stake in Twitter, Musk engaged in market manipulation and bought Twitter stock at an artificially low price," said the group of investors, led by Virginia resident William Heresniak.
Frank Bottini, one of the lawyers representing the Twitter investors, told the BBC that the lawsuit was filed while Musk "continues to disparage the company he wants to buy for $44bn in an effort to renegotiate the purchase price."
“The complaint we filed in San Francisco seeks to hold Musk liable for his unlawful conduct," added Bottini.
The investors also named Twitter in the lawsuit, arguing they had an obligation to investigate Musk's conduct. However, they are not seeking any financial damages from the social media company.