Elon Musk is being investigated by federal authorities for his role in Twitter Inc’s $44 billion takeover deal, the social media firm said in a court statement on Thursday.
Twitter, which sued Musk in July to force him to finalise the purchase, said Musk’s attorneys claimed “investigative privilege” while refusing to provide information it had requested.
Musk’s attorneys submitted a “privilege log” specifying papers to be withheld in late September, according to Twitter. The log included drafts of an email to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 13 and a presentation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The court filing, which requested that a Delaware judge direct Musk’s attorneys to release the files, was issued on October 6, the same day that the judge suspended litigation between the two parties after Musk switched course and indicated he would proceed with the deal.
“This game of ‘hide the ball’ must end,” the company said in the court filing.
Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk, told Reuters that Twitter’s court filing was a “misdirection.”
Musk’s comments on the Twitter takeover have been questioned by the SEC. The SEC asked Musk in April whether his 9% Twitter stake declaration was late and whether it indicated that he planned to be a passive shareholder. Musk then amended his disclosure to reflect that he was an active investor.
In a letter sent in June, the SEC questioned Musk if he should have revised his public filing to indicate his intent to suspend or abandon the acquisition.
The Information, a technology news site, revealed in April that the FTC was investigating whether Musk violated an antitrust reporting obligation while amassing his stake in Twitter.
In June, Twitter announced that the takeover deal with Musk had cleared an antitrust waiting period for investigation by the FTC and the US Justice Department.