The recalcitrant billionaire Elon Musk faces a lawsuit after pulling out of negotiations over buying Twitter. Citing underreported spam accounts on the platform, the South African performed an about-face weeks after announcing his intentions to purchase the social media giant. Scuppering a $44 billion deal, Twitter’s lawyers have accused him of “refusing to honour his obligations”. As the entrepreneur braces himself for a contract dispute- to be settled at Delaware’s Chancery court– there exists the possibility of the Delaware Court ordering him to see through the billion-dollar deal and Musk refusing to comply with the order. In case it does happen, three distinct outcomes are on the cards. 

Also Read: Twitter vs Musk at Delaware Chancery Court: All you need to know

A hefty fine

If Musk refuses to comply with the court’s ruling, it may slap a hefty fine against the billionaire- levied daily- till he agrees to the purchase. There exists a precedent for such a scenario. When transcription software maker Transperfect Global Inc. defied Chancery judge Andre Bouchard’s order to execute a $770 million sale to co-founder Phillip R. Shawe, the judge imposed a $30,000 daily fine, forcing the company into compliance. 

Twitter is allowed to seize his assets

The court could give Twitter its assent to pick off Musk’s assets. As per Robert Miller, chair in corporate finance and law at Iowa College of Law, the court “would have no problem reaching Musk’s Tesla stock.” Although none have previously violated a Chancery court’s order to close a deal, “legal deadbeats aren’t uncommon”, added Miller. But courts have pre-set procedures for executing their will by seizing the losing party’s assets. But it would involve a lengthy litigation battle to make good on the debt.  

Also Read: Elon Musk files motion to block Twitter’s request for fast-track trial

Jail Term for Musk

The unlikeliest outcome of the three, it still exists within the realms of possibility. Delaware’s civil contempt procedure allows a judge to sentence a malefactor to spend time in jail to mull over his actions. But the chances of it happening are slim. 

Irrespective, expect strict action from the Delaware court if Musk fails to toe its line. The county has a reputation for enforcing contracts and would not wish to risk it by indulging the Tesla founder’s irreverence.