Twitter said it has sued Elon Musk to force him to complete the 44 billion US dollars (£37 billion) acquisition of the social media company.
Mr Musk and Twitter have been bracing for a legal fight since the billionaire said on Friday he was backing away from his April agreement to buy the company.
The chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, tweeted on Tuesday that the board has filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery “to hold Elon Musk accountable to his contractual obligations”.
Twitter’s lawsuit opens with a sharply-worded accusation that “Musk refuses to honour his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests”.
“Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away,” the suit says.
The trial court in Delaware frequently handles business disputes among the many corporations, including Twitter, that are incorporated there.
Mr Musk alleged on Friday that Twitter has failed to provide enough information about the number of fake accounts on its service.
Twitter said last month that it was making available to Mr Musk a ″fire hose” of raw data on hundreds of millions of daily tweets.
The company has said for years in regulatory filings that it believes about 5% of the accounts on the platform are fake.
Mr Musk is also alleging that Twitter broke the acquisition agreement when it fired two top managers and laid off a third of its talent-acquisition team.