Elon Musk takes aim at Jack Dorsey in £37bn Twitter spat 

Clash of the tech titans: Elon Musk takes aim at Jack Dorsey in £37bn Twitter spat

It was a bromance that saw two of the tech world’s titans speak about each other in glowingly appreciative terms over the years.

Elon Musk once tweeted that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey ‘has a good heart’. Dorsey for his part has described Tesla tycoon Musk as someone who ‘cares deeply about our world’.

But things have taken a more serious turn now that Musk is trying to back out of a £37billion takeover of Twitter – and has formally issue a subpoena to Dorsey.

Tesla Tycoon Elon Musk is trying to back out of a £37bn takeover of Twitter – and has formally issued a subpoena to the social media giant’s boss Dorsey

The legal move means that Dorsey has been asked for documents and communications relating to Musk’s agreement earlier this year to buy the site.

Musk has also requested material relating to spam accounts on the platform.

That is at the heart of the reasons given by the Tesla boss for pulling out of the deal.

His lawyers said last month that Twitter had failed or refused to respond to multiple requests for information on how many of the users registered to the platform were fake or spam accounts.

That is a key metric in judging its business performance.

Musk claimed that Twitter was in ‘material breach’ of multiple provisions of the takeover deal.

Twitter is suing Musk and has asked a judge in Delaware to order him to complete the deal. It has denied Musk’s spam allegations.

A five-day trial is set to start on 17 October.

Musk has also subpoenaed Wall Street banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan over how they advised the company on the deal.

The Tesla boss – ranked the world’s richest man because of his stake in the electric car firm – has been an enthusiastic user of Twitter over the years.

He has even been fined millions of dollars by US financial authorities over his use of the platform in talking about his company.

Most recently, he briefly stoked the hopes of Manchester United fans disillusioned with the club’s ownership by suggesting he planned to buy it, before making clear he had been joking.

His relationship with Dorsey seems to have been notably warmer than the mutual frostiness between some other tech tycoons – such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook.

The two men are enthusiasts for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Dorsey quit as Twitter’s chief executive in November and left the board in May.

He remains in charge of Block, a payments company which he also co-founded and was previously known as Square.

Subpoena: Jack Dorsey quit as Twitter’s chief executive in November and left the board in May

Subpoena: Jack Dorsey quit as Twitter’s chief executive in November and left the board in May

Musk has in the past rallied to Dorsey’s defence. In 2020 during an attempt to unseat him as Twitter chief executive, he tweeting that he supported him and that he has a ‘good heart’.

Dorsey returned the favour when it emerged that Musk had built up a big stake in the company, saying he was ‘really happy’ that the Tesla boss looked set to join Twitter’s board, and that Musk was someone ‘who cares deeply about our world’.

Musk initially accepted a seat before changing course and offering to buy the company.

That move was also endorsed by Dorsey, who tweeted: ‘Elon is the singular solution I trust.

‘I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.’ But then Musk controversially said he was pulling out, leaving Dorsey caught in the crossfire between him and Twitter’s board.

Dorsey owns a 2.4 per cent stake in the platform.

The wrangle took a further twist yesterday when allegations by Twitter’s former security chief Peiter Zatko emerged.

Zatko claimed that the company misled federal regulators about its defences against hackers and spam accounts, US media reported.

He is said to have filed a formal complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice as well as the Federal Trade Commission.

Zatko left Twitter in January.

He told the Washington Post that he felt ‘ethically bound’ to come forward.

US senator Dick Durbin said that if the claims were accurate ‘they may show dangerous data privacy and security risks for Twitter users around the world’.

Alex Spiro, a lawyer representing Musk, said a subpoena had been issued for Zatko in his case.

A Twitter spokesperson said yesterday: ‘Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders.

‘Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.’ Shares fell more than 5 per cent.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk