Stop us if you've heard this one before: A Twitter shareholder is suing Elon Musk for allegedly manipulating the company's stock price.
The Verge reported that the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday night in a federal district court in San Francisco, alleges that Musk made statements "designed to create doubt" about the deal and drive Twitter's share price down significantly, including a tweet which claimed that it "cannot move forward" without proof that less than 5% of Twitter's users are bots.
The complaint alleges that Musk did this to "create leverage that Musk hoped to use to either back out of the purchase or re-negotiate the buyout price.”
The complaint is a proposed class action lawsuit brought on by a small group of shareholders, though damages would go to all of the company's shareholders.
"As detailed herein, Musk’s conduct was and continues to be illegal," the complaint reads. "Musk's market manipulation worked — Twitter has lost $8 billion in valuation since the buyout was announced."
Though Musk has said he is committed to the deal, he did say recently that renegotiating the deal price was not “out of the question.” The complaint requests an injunctive relief which could potentially force Musk to stick to his original purchase price of $54.20. (Twitter has also said it has no interest in renegotiating that price.)
This complaint marks another lawsuit against Musk related to Twitter. In mid-April, a shareholder sued Musk for failing to disclose his ownership stake in the company during the SEC-mandated window, alleging that hiding this fact kept the company's share price low artificially. According to the complaint, "investors who sold shares in Twitter stock between March 24, 2022 ... missed the resulting share price increase as the market reacted to Musk's purchases and were damaged thereby."
Twitter's shares have fallen this month after peaking at a little over $50 in early May, closing at $39.52 on Thursday.