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Elon Musk will probably pay Twitter a great deal of income. He’s on the hook soon after signing a offer to purchase it, throwing a tantrum, and trying to back again out last 7 days. And immediately after looking at Twitter’s powerhouse lawsuit, many observers now think the Delaware courts will drive him to invest in Twitter for $44 billion, his initial provide price.

But a nearer seem at the lawful procedure, with input from Delaware lawyers, indicates Musk could have far more in his favor than the narrative implies. He could continue to get rid of, or concur to a enormous settlement, but a ruling that forces him to invest in Twitter remains not likely.

“I really don’t believe he’s screwed at all,’ mentioned Morgan Ricks, a regulation professor at Vanderbilt College. “If it were a slam dunk case and the treatments have been extremely very clear and conveniently enforceable, then absolutely everyone would be buying Twitter at $52. Right now, it is trading at $36.”

Offered that Musk appears to be to have violated his contract, the crucial inquiries are now what the Delaware Courtroom of Chancery will do about it, and how Twitter’s authorized group will anticipate those people steps. The court docket may order Musk to purchase Twitter at the agreed-on price — by way of a “specific performance” clause in the agreement that forces it — but that is an unusual step the courtroom is not fond of using.

“Specific effectiveness, less than Delaware law, is an remarkable treatment,” said Robert Penza, a Delaware law firm with a long time of working experience before the Chancery Courtroom. “They would only do it if they are convinced there’s not an ample remedy at legislation, these kinds of as monetary damages.”

The courtroom may well be particularly hesitant to get Musk to shut the offer since it understands he may well not comply, a seemingly preposterous notion that by some means carries weight. Carolyn Berger, the court’s previous vice-chancellor, claimed this outright on CNBC Wednesday. “The problem with specific efficiency,” she reported, “especially with Elon Musk, is that it’s unclear no matter whether the purchase of the court docket would be obeyed.”

The courtroom could wonderful Musk for noncompliance each day, Berger said, but the fines would simply pile up on a ledger and may not result in any motion. So, a need for a quick resolution could push the court docket to rule in favor of Twitter, but only levy damages, which are capped at $1 billion.

The chance of not receiving $44 billion by way of a particular effectiveness buy will loom more than Twitter’s situation and possible thrust it to settle. The Delaware court’s Chancellor, Kathaleen McCormick, has compelled mergers in the past, and has written that the court “has not hesitated to buy precise general performance.” But the chance of failing to get the specific performance order, and landing only $1 billion in damages, could make a settlement for a lot more than $1 billion attractive for Twitter.

“Most good lawyers, and most knowledgeable attorneys, will not slide in enjoy with their circumstance, supplied that no situation is a slam dunk,” said Francis Pileggi, a Delaware corporate lawyer. “I do not care who you are or what situation it is. Every circumstance has different shades and unique nuances that make it considerably less than a sure matter. So, statistically, 99% of all situations settle.”

To arrive at a settlement amount it can accept, Twitter will ponder the probability that it will get a certain efficiency ruling, up to $1 billion in damages, or drop outright. Then, when evaluating the damages, the business will probable component the market’s lousy functionality this calendar year into its calculations. “I don’t feel it is likely to be effortless to establish damages,” Pileggi reported.

Musk does not want this to go on forever possibly, and he may possibly be eager to fork out a premium higher than the $1 billion and be accomplished with it. The two sides may possibly also agree to a decreased purchase cost, shake arms, and entire the transaction. But the $10 billion settlement some forecast appears to be fanciful.

There is lots of pride and emotion in this situation, and it would be foolish to underestimate it. Musk might drop to negotiate a settlement due to the fact he does not sense sure by the law. Twitter might refuse to settle for the reason that it feels it ought to stick it to Musk—who’s routinely disparaged its executives—and see the method via for the sake of its shareholders. And the Delaware Chancery Court docket could come to feel its legitimacy is at stake, and thus opt for distinct effectiveness to display the regulation implies a thing.

But a settlement that basically inconveniences Musk stays the most probable outcome. And even though Twitter—which created $5 billion last year—could use his income, it will probably be deflating for the business and its shareholders soon after every thing it’s endured.

Here’s Why Elon Musk Probably Won’t Be Forced to Buy Twitter