Elon Musk subpoenas former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as legal battle heats up

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With the subpoena, made public in court filings on Monday, Musk’s legal team seeks a wide range of information from Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO of Twitter last November and remained on the board until late May, a month after the company agreed to sell itself to the Tesla CEO.

Musk’s legal team is asking for all documents and communications regarding the merger agreement as well as those “reflecting, referring to, or relating to the impact or effect of false or spam accounts on Twitter’s business and operations.”

Musk is attempting to back out of the proposed $44 billion merger agreement after accusing the company of misrepresenting the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. Twitter has accused Musk of using the bots as an excuse to get out of the deal after market conditions changed.

As part of the subpoena, Musk’s legal team is also seeking documents and communications related to Twitter’s use of monetizable daily active users (mDAU) “as a ‘Key Metric,’ as noted in Twitter’s SEC filings.” In a prior response to Twitter’s lawsuit, Musk criticized the company’s use of the metric, claiming that his evaluations show only a small portion of the users Twitter considers mDAU actually generate significant revenue for the company by viewing and engaging with advertisements. He also alleged that the measure is not actually as good an indicator of future performance as Twitter’s public filings imply.

The subpoena of Dorsey, one of several issued by Musk’s team and made public in court filings on Monday, is the latest indication that the legal battle between the two parties is heating up.

Twitter previously subpoenaed a number of Musk’s associates, according to court filings and public statements. The list includes several prominent investment firms and venture capitalists, some of whom are part of the so-called PayPal mafia, a group of influential figures in the tech industry who worked at the payment company cofounded by Musk. Dorsey and Musk have a long billionaire bromance of sorts, and Dorsey initially signaled that he was supportive of Musk taking over the company he cofounded. “In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey tweeted in April. “Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.”

Court filings on Monday indicate that Dorsey accepted the service of the subpoena. The five-day trial between Twitter and Musk is scheduled to kick off in October.