Musk mocks Twitter's legal threat after ditching deal

STORY: Elon Musk mocked Twitter's threat to sue him on its own platform on Monday, after the world's richest person moved to abandon his $44 billion takeover deal, sending the social media company's shares reeling in early trading.

Just after midnight, eastern standard time, Musk posted a meme depicting Musk laughing progressively harder, saying "They said I couldn't buy Twitter. Then they wouldn't disclose bot info. Now they want me to force me to buy Twitter in court. Now they have to disclose bot info in court."

The Tesla CEO said he intended to terminate the deal late Friday, claiming Twitter had failed to provide information about fake accounts on the platform and had breached provisions of the merger agreement.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that Twitter is planning to sue Musk as early as this week to force him to complete the takeover.

One analyst told Reuters that his firm believes that "Musk's intentions to terminate the merger are more based on the recent market sell-off than... Twitter's 'failure' to comply with his requests."

Legal experts say Twitter has a strong legal case against Musk, but could opt for a renegotiation or settlement instead of a long court fight.

The tweets from Musk on Monday, which also included an image of Chuck Norris playing chess, amounted to the billionaire's first public response since announcing his intention to ditch the Twitter deal.

Twitter shares were down sharply on Monday, trading at around $34, more than a third off the price of Musk's per-share offer.