Elon Musk’s Twitter Threatens to Sue Meta Over Threads, Alleging Meta Hired ‘Dozens’ of Twitter Employees to Launch Copycat App; Meta Disputes Claim; Threads, a text-focused social app intended to use Instagram’s user base and infrastructure, had its premiere on Meta’s Instagram on Wednesday. According to Zuckerberg, more than 30 million people had downloaded the app as of Thursday morning, which equates to about 1.5% of Instagram’s monthly active users.
Twitter’s attorney expressed “serious concerns” that Meta “has engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” in a cease-and-desist letter written to Meta CEO Zuckerberg on July 5. Twitter demanded that Meta stop exploiting any Twitter trade secrets or other highly private material immediately away in the letter because it intended to vigorously protect its intellectual property rights.
Elon Musk’s lawyers this week filed a lawsuit against the law firm that represented Twitter when Musk tried to take the business private last year, alleging the firm overcharged for its services.
Lawsuit on Twitter Threatens to Sue Meta Over Threads
According to the lawsuit, The law firm that represented Twitter before Musk’s takeover, Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen and Katz, built up a $90 million “last-minute” legal cost.
After Musk backtracked on his initial bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Wachtel was retained by Twitter to represent the company. The legal team worked to secure the sale, which was tendered at a large premium to Twitter’s public market valuation, and was compensated with the $90 million fee for its assistance in closing the deal in November 2022.
Any associated excess fee payment
Twitter’s parent firm X Corp. is requesting reimbursement for “any associated excess fee payment” as well as legal expenses related to the cost of the lawsuit. Reid Collins & Tsai, an Austin, Texas-based litigation boutique, represents Musk’s business.
Requests for response from Reid Collins and Wachtel’s lawyers went unanswered.
This is not the first time Musk has attempted to prevent Twitter’s suppliers from receiving payment. According to the online legal records database Plain site, when Musk assumed control of Twitter and saddled it with a $13 billion debt, the company was sued at least 26 times for vendor non-payment. According to reports, the business stopped paying the rent at its San Francisco offices and was also apparently refusing to reimburse Google for the use of its cloud computing infrastructure.
When prompted for reply by a customer, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone pointed to a thread in which he wrote, “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.”
Competition is fine, cheating is not
The legal Twitter Threatens to Sue Meta Over Threads prompted Musk to remark, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
Additionally, according to Twitter’s cease-and-desist letter, “Meta is specifically forbidden from engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or follower data… Without Twitter’s prior approval, it is expressly forbidden to scrape any Twitter services. The letter makes no claims that Meta took part in this behavior, though.
Semafor was the first to report on the letter to Meta from Twitter’s legal team.
In October 2022, Musk paid $44 billion to buy Twitter. Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of Twitter, who joined the firm last month after leaving NBCUniversal, tweeted on Thursday something that appeared to be in reference to Threads, saying, “We’re often imitated — but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”