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Twitter Inc's shareholders approved a $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk on Tuesday, handing over the deal's outcome to a court battle in which the billionaire is trying to scrap the purchase. According to a preliminary vote count read, a majority of shareholders voted in favor of accepting Elon Musk’s $54.20-a-share offer to acquire the social-networking company.

Elon Musk had made the bid in April to buy Twitter and has since sought to rescind it. Twitter’s board -- along with two prominent advisory firms -- had encouraged investors to ratify the deal. The company’s shares are trading at $41.77, well below Elon Musk’s proposed price.

The shares remained the same and were little changed by the vote. The trial is currently set for the week of Oct. 17 in Delaware Chancery Court.

The Twiter Inc shareholders' meeting lasted for about seven minutes and the polling opened for about three minutes. Shareholders could also submit votes several weeks ahead of the meeting. While shareholder approval was required to finalize the deal, its consummation is far from a sure thing.

Back in July 2022, Elon Musk had said that he was terminating his deal with Twitter, alleging that the social media company had misled him about the size of the company’s user base. Elon Musk also claimed that Twitter also hid the number of bots and spam accounts.

In its defense, Twitter denied those accusations and sued Elon Musk in a Delaware court to force him to complete the acquisition. To counter it, Elon Musk counter-sued the company.

Elon Musk has recently sought to bolster his case by citing revelations from a former senior Twitter security head-turned-whistleblower, who alleged that the company is in violation of multiple regulatory requirements, has lax security practices. Peiter Zatko also said that it has given misleading information about the number of bots on its service.

(With agency inputs)

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