Twitter accused the Tesla CEO of smearing its reputation and lowering its value.

“Delay threatens irreparable harm,” said Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, which handles many high-profile business disputes. “The longer the delay, the greater the risk.”

Musk had announced that he was terminating the deal earlier this month, but Twitter has sought to hold him to it, saying he “knowingly, intentionally, willfully, and materially breached the agreement”.

The San Francisco-based company is seeking to resolve months of uncertainty for its business as Musk tries to abandon the takeover, alleging Twitter misled him about the tally of fake accounts on the platform.

Twitter has asked McCormick of Delaware’s Court of Chancery to find Musk breached the agreement and to order him to complete the deal at the agreed price of $54.20 per share.

The company’s value dropped to $32.65 per share last week, erasing nearly $3bn in value. It was trading at about $39.16 on Tuesday morning, up about 2 percent and near the highest level since Musk said he was walking away.

Twitter wanted an expedited trial in September because it said Musk is smearing Twitter and undermining operations by refusing to approve business initiatives, such as an employee retention plan.

“It’s attempted sabotage. He’s doing his best to run Twitter down,” William Savitt, a lawyer for Twitter, said during Tuesday’s hearing, which was held virtually after McCormick said she tested positive for COVID-19.

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