Twitter says whistleblower payment does not breach deal terms

STORY: Twitter said on Monday that its payment of more than $7 million in severance to former security chief turned whistleblower Peiter Zatko, who has alleged poor security and privacy practices at the social media firm, did not breach any terms of its buyout deal with Elon Musk, after the billionaire cited the payment as another reason to scrap the $44 billion acquisition.

This after the world's richest man sent a third letter to Twitter, in which lawyers for Musk said Twitter's failure to seek his consent before paying $7.75 million to Zatko and his lawyers violated the merger agreement, which restricts when Twitter could make such payments.

Zatko, who was fired by Twitter in January as the company's security head, last month accused the social media firm of falsely claiming it had a solid security plan and making misleading statements about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts.

Musk has accused Twitter of misrepresenting the prevalence of spam accounts on its platform and has sought to terminate the deal citing those reasons.

A trial in Delaware is scheduled to begin on Oct. 17. Lawyers for Musk were not immediately available for comment.

On Tuesday, Twitter is set to hold a special meeting for shareholders to vote on whether to approve or reject the deal with Musk.

Also on Tuesday, Zatko – known as Mudge in hacking circles – will meet the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee to discuss the allegations made in his whistleblower complaint.