Elon Musk aims to end checks on his Tesla tweets | Money

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks at the construction site of Tesla’s gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin, May 17, 2021. – Reuters pic

PARIS, March 9 – Tesla boss Elon Musk is trying to overturn a 2018 deal he reached with the US securities regulator (SEC) that requires some of his tweets to be vetted by lawyers before being released. be published.

A lawyer for the billionaire said in a letter to a New York court yesterday that the current dispute was “yet another attempt to harass Tesla and silence Mr. Musk”.

The South African-born tycoon agreed in 2018 that any tweets capable of moving Tesla’s share price would be reviewed by lawyers, in a deal that saw him pay $20 million (RM83 million) to settle a fraud case.

The SEC brought the case after Musk tweeted that he had enough funds to take the electric carmaker private.

The tweet caused a brief spike in Tesla’s stock price, but the SEC said the statements on Twitter were “false and misleading.”

In court documents this week, Musk defended his original tweet.

“My August 7, 2018 tweet was written at a time when I was actually considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share,” he said.

He said he was “forced” to accept the 2018 deal under threat of a lawsuit.

“I have never lied to shareholders. I would never lie to shareholders,” he reportedly said.

“I entered into the consent decree (with the SEC) for the survival of Tesla, for the benefit of its shareholders.”

His team accuses the SEC of “relentlessly” investigating the boss’s tweets over the past four years.

According to the wall street journalthe SEC opened another investigation in February into a Twitter poll Musk hosted last November.

Musk asked his Twitter followers if he should sell his 10% stake in Tesla, sending the stock price plummeting.

A day earlier, his brother Kimbal had sold $108 million of his shares.

The regulator is investigating whether his brother — a Tesla board member — knew about the Twitter poll before it was sold, according to the WSJ.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request from AFP. —AFP

James V. Hayes