Twitter sued by unpaid experts hired for legal battle with Elon Musk

Charles River Associates sued Twitter on Thursday in state court in Boston. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter was sued by a consulting firm that claims it’s owed around US$2 million (S$2.6 million) for work relating to its lawsuit to force Mr Elon Musk to complete his buyout of the social media platform.

Charles River Associates sued Twitter on Thursday in state court in Boston. The firm said it was hired in August to provide expert economic testimony to rebut the witness Mr Musk was expected to put on the stand. But Mr Musk reversed himself in October and agreed to move ahead with his US$44 billion acquisition.

Since taking over Twitter, the billionaire has been slashing costs. He has fired half the staff and held back rent on the company’s San Francisco headquarters and other offices around the world. Those measures come as Mr Musk is facing his first payment on the US$12.5 billion in debt he took on to acquire Twitter.

Where the invoices from a firm hired by Twitter’s former management to oppose him in court rank in terms of Mr Musk’s financial priorities isn’t clear. Twitter was also sued in December for failing to pay private-jet bills for flights taken by former executives before Mr Musk closed his acquisition.

A message sent to Twitter’s press e-mail wasn’t immediately returned. 

The suit also comes as Mr Musk is facing a securities fraud trial over his August 2018 tweet in which he said he had secured funding to take Tesla private – a group of shareholders claims his announcement rattled markets and led to investors losing millions of dollars. He is expected to take the witness stand during the trial. BLOOMBERG

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