Elon Musk, Twitter's new owner, must have tweets on Tesla pre-approved: US judge

Updated on Apr 28, 2022 05:04 PM IST
Musk last month filed a motion to overturn Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restrictions imposed following his 2018 tweet, in which he said he had acquired funding to take Tesla private, but did not provide proof or file paperwork with the securities regulator.
Musk's headline-grabbing deal to buy Twitter comes with a clause specifying that he is free to tweet about the pending $44 billion merger provided his posts do not disparage the company or any of its representatives.(via REUTERS)
Musk's headline-grabbing deal to buy Twitter comes with a clause specifying that he is free to tweet about the pending $44 billion merger provided his posts do not disparage the company or any of its representatives.(via REUTERS)
AFP |

Twitter's new buyer Elon Musk still must have his tweets about his electric car company Tesla pre-approved after a US judge on Wednesday rejected an appeal to free him from oversight.

Musk last month filed a motion to overturn Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restrictions imposed following his 2018 tweet, in which he said he had acquired funding to take Tesla private, but did not provide proof or file paperwork with the securities regulator.

The tweet, which caused share prices to fluctuate wildly, was ruled to be "false and misleading" and shareholders have accused Tesla of securities fraud.

The SEC also charged Musk with fraud and ordered him to step down as chair of Tesla's board of directors, pay a $20 million fine and, after another unfortunate tweet in early 2019, demanded his tweets directly related to business of the company be pre-approved by a competent lawyer.

Musk said he was forced to agree to the deal, and denies lying to shareholders.

However, "Musk's claim that he was the victim of economic duress is wholly unpersuasive," Judge Lewis Liman wrote in his ruling.

The judge said Musk's argument that the SEC has used the agreement "to harass him" and investigate his speech is "meritless" and "particularly ironic," since free speech rights do not allow him to make statements that are "considered fraudulent" or violate securities laws.

"Musk cannot now seek to retract the agreement he knowingly and willingly entered by simply bemoaning that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time but now -- once the specter of the litigation is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible -- wishes that he had not."

The judge also rejected Musk's request to quash part of the SEC's demand for documents about his November 6, 2021 tweet calling for followers to vote on whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock.

The tweet sent the company's share price lower, and the SEC wants to know if it was approved as required. The agency also is investigating possible insider trading after Musk's brother -- a Tesla board member -- sold $108 million in the car-maker's stock a day before the poll.

Musk's headline-grabbing deal to buy Twitter comes with a clause specifying that he is free to tweet about the pending $44 billion merger provided his posts "do not disparage the company or any of its representatives," a copy filed with US regulators shows.

That did not stop Musk on Wednesday from tweeting his displeasure with content moderation moves made by Twitter's top attorney Vijaya Gadde who is seen as a moral champion of the platform.

Musk additionally tweeted a meme critical of Gadde.

 

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden exit Marine One at Charleston Executive Airport, SC. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    US first lady tests Covid positive days after President Joe Biden recovers

    She had been vacationing with President Joe Biden in South Carolina when she began experiencing symptoms on Monday. She has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the vacation home for at least five days.

  • British Royal Air Force pilots aboard a military aircraft. (RAF/ Facebook)

    Britain’s RAF flights transporting ammunition from Pakistan to Ukraine?

    Britain's Royal Air Force has been running near-daily flights with a C-17 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft from Romania to an airbase in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi since early this month, data from flight tracking websites have shown. It was not immediately clear what sort of equipment was being airlifted by the massive RAF aircraft. The flights involved a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III of the RAF with the call sign 'ZZ173'.

  • The auctioning of abandoned contents is a common practice for storage units with unpaid bills.

    Human remains 'found in suitcases' sold at N. Zealand auction

    New Zealand police have begun a homicide investigation after human remains were allegedly found stashed in suitcases that were bought at an auction in the country's largest city Auckland. Read New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since Covid-19 pandemic began Residents at a home in South Auckland called police last Thursday after making the grisly discovery, police official Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Putin slams US for whipping up Asian tensions with Taiwan visit and AUKUS pact

    Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Tuesday of whipping up tensions in Asia, describing a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "thoroughly planned provocation". In a speech to a Moscow security conference, Putin also cited the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States as evidence of Western attempts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • China’s research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, docked at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. (AFP)

    Chinese tracking ship docks at Sri Lankan port; Beijing says third party should not ‘obstruct’ cooperation

    China on Tuesday said the docking of a Chinese missile and spacecraft tracking ship in the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota for replenishment will not affect the security interests of any country and should not be “obstructed” by a third party, in an apparent reference to India. The docking of the ship comes a day after India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin then reiterated the point.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now