Musk continues to fight to overturn tweet approval requirement

Elon Musk still hopes to overturn a 2018 settlement agreement with the SEC requiring Tesla-related tweets to be cleared by a lawyer before they can be published: On Wednesday, he took his case to the US Court of Appeals after that a lower court denied that claim. .

The Tesla CEO found himself in hot water with the watchdog when he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private at $420 a share, and claimed to have already secured the necessary financing (this will tell you sounds familiar?) In reality, however, Musk didn’t have the funding or permission to do so. Investors, however, took it seriously and started buying more shares, driving the stock price up more than 10%.

The SEC accused Musk of fraud, saying his tweets were false, misled the public and disrupted the market. Musk was sued by the US regulator; he later settled the lawsuit by agreeing to pay $40 million in penalties, resign as chairman of the automaker’s board, and agreed that all tweets discussing Tesla should now be filtered.

But now he wants to end that last part of the deal. Musk’s legal team argued that the SEC lacked the legal authority to police his free speech and that it was unfair for the watchdog to allow “travelling and unlimited investigations” into Musk’s activities. Musk as he is restricted from tweeting freely.

This was submitted to a federal judge in New York, who in April denied his request. “Musk was not forced into the consent decree; rather, ‘for [his] specific strategic objectives, [Musk]with the advice and assistance of counsel, have entered into these agreements voluntarily, in order to secure their benefits, including finality,” District Court Judge Lewis Liman said. [PDF].

“Musk can’t now seek to retract the deal he knowingly and willingly entered into simply lamenting that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time, but now – once the specter of the litigation is now a distant memory and that his company has become, in his estimation, almost invincible – wishes he did not have, “added the judge.

Now, Musk’s lawyers are trying to overturn that decision by taking the case to the Court of Appeals, declaring their intention to do so today. We don’t know how the case will develop.

We recall that Musk, who should answer questions from Twitter workers on Thursday, loves to talk about freedom of expression, or rather its definition, on and about the social network. He would like nothing more than to release himself from the pledge he made to the SEC on the tweet.

The register asked the SEC for comment. ®

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Steven L. Nielsen