Twitter freezes employee equity award accounts — report

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Twitter has reportedly frozen its employees' equity award accounts as the clock ticks down for Tesla CEO Elon Musk to close his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company.

According to Bloomberg, an employee FAQ page has been updated to notify workers that they will be unable to access or trade shares via its Equity Award Center. Sources told the outlet the change was made "in anticipation of the closing of the pending acquisition of Twitter by an entity controlled by Elon Musk."

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TWTRTWITTER INC.50.74+0.29+0.57%

The move comes as a number of workers' restricted stock units are reportedly due to vest early next month. Bloomberg noted a number of employees plan to resign once they gain control of those shares.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

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In April, Musk agreed to purchase the social media giant and take it private at $54.20 per share. 

In July, the billionaire notified Twitter that he was planning to terminate the deal after claiming the company breached its obligations by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake accounts on the platform. Twitter maintains that spam and fake accounts make up less than 5% of its total users.

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Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, stands in the foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory during a press event.  | Getty Images

In response, Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk, accusing him of refusing to honor his obligations under the agreement because "the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests." Musk proceeded to file a countersuit, which was amended last month to include allegations from whistleblower and former Twitter security chief Peiter "Mudge" Zatko.

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Earlier this month, Musk reversed course and said he would follow through on the deal's original terms, pending receipt of the deal's debt financing and provided that the Delaware Court of Chancery stayed Twitter's lawsuit and adjourned a legal trial originally set for Oct. 17.

The court has given Musk until Oct. 28 to close the deal. If he is unable to reach an agreement with Twitter, the trial will be moved to November.

As of the time of publication, Twitter shares are up approximately 20% year to date.

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