Judge rules against Elon Musk’s bid to be able to tweet freely

Billionare restricted in SEC settlement over infamous ‘funding secured’ tweet about Tesla

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 16 May 2023 12:14 BST
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Elon Musk must continue to clear his tweets about Tesla with lawyers for the electric vehicle company, a court ruled.

The Tesla CEO, who also owns Twitter, must continue to abide by a 2018 settlement he made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan on Monday rejected a brief filed by Mr Musk’s lawyers last year against a lower court’s decision to make the billionaire stick to his deal with the SEC, according to The Associated Press.

The agreement with the SEC came to settle securities and fraud charges brought against him following his infamous tweet in which he claimed he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Mr Musk stating that he had made “false and misleading” statements and privatising the vehicle manufacturer and that he “knew or was reckless in not knowing” that the statement was false or misleading.

In addition to the pre-agreement on his tweets about Tesla, Mr Musk and his company were forced to each pay $20m in fines.

Tesla also had to add two new independent board directors and Mr Musk was stripped of his chairman title.

Under the agreement with the SEC, neither Mr Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied wrongdoing.

However, during an appearance at the TED2022 conference, Mr Musk claimed that the funding he tweeted about “was indeed secured” and claimed that he was “forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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