Musk Bid to Nix $44B Twitter Deal Thwarted As Google Divests Telecom Project

Twitter’s legal team has hit back on Elon Musk’s push to terminate the $44 billion agreement to acquire the social networking company over a deal the company reached with a whistleblower. Last week, Musk’s lawyers reiterated that the $7 million Twitter paid to silence its former security chief gives them leeway to move away from the deal.

Musk vs. Twitter

In June this year, Twitter allegedly reached an agreement with its former security head Peiter Zatko after firing him. The company fired Mr. Zatko over ineffective leadership and poor performance. However, it has emerged that the company let go of the security head after he accused the company of failing to protect sensitive user data and lying about security problems.

The $7 million settlement came after months-long negotiations whereby Mr. Zatko reportedly pushed for tens of millions of dollars in settlement. Musk’s lawyers insist that Twitter violated the terms of the April merger agreement in which there was a cap on the amount of payments that the company was allowed to make to employees.

Musk’s lawyer further insists that the $7 million payment gives their client another avenue to walk away from the deal. It is not the first time that the legal team has made such claims in a bid to terminate the $44 billion merger deal. Previously the team has accused the company of failing to provide valuable documents that would shed more light on the exact number of bots listed as active users in the social networking company.

Twitter’s shareholders have already approved the proposed $44 billion takeover, with the legal team insisting that the conditions to close the deal have been satisfied. Nevertheless, in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the legal team insists on enforcing the agreement and closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed.

Google Divests Aalyria

Meanwhile, Google has been working on software for high-speed communication networks. The system is designed to enable communication from land to space. “Minkowski” is the secret project the tech giant is spinning out as part of a new entity dubbed Aalyria.

Aalyria is to handle hyper-fast, ultra-secure and complex communication networks. The networks will enable communication at sea, air, near space, and deep space. The software platform has already been used in multiple aerospace networking projects as it leverages laser communication technology.

It is still unclear how the tech giant has been working on Aalyria or how many people the unit employs. The unit has already inked an $8.7 million deal with the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit. Google has also transferred nearly a decade’s worth of intellectual property patents and other assets to startup.

The spin-off of Aalyria comes as Google continues to experience a decline in ad spending. It has emerged that the divestment will allow the tech giant to seek external funding for some of the projects incubated for years. In the past, Google has succeeded in raising external funding for its other startups, including life sciences company Verily and self-driving car company Waymo.