Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

Elon Musk Reaches Deal With the SEC Requiring Tougher Oversight of His Bad Tweets

Tesla CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves Manhattan Federal Court, in New York, Thursday, April 4, 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk waves as he leaves Manhattan Federal Court, in New York, Thursday, April 4, 2019.
Photo: Richard Drew (AP)

Elon Musk has reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission following a dispute over his bad tweets and what he can—or more specifically, can’t—share on the platform after he was accused of violating the terms of an earlier agreement. It now looks like Musk will (for real) have to clear some of his Tesla-related tweets with a lawyer.

Advertisement

The agreement reached between Musk and the agency was filed in a Manhattan federal court and will next need to be approved by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. The agreement was reached after Nathan essentially ordered the two to figure it out following the SEC’s request that the judge hold Musk in contempt for a February tweet.

The problematic tweet in question was related to Tesla production figures and appeared to contradict figures represented in an earlier letter to the company’s shareholders. While Musk hours later corrected the apparently misstated production number in his initial tweet, the SEC said in a court filing that Musk “did not seek or receive preapproval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people.”

Advertisement

The agency viewed Musk’s tweet as a violation of the settlement it reached with the Tesla CEO last year over his now-infamous “420” tweet about taking the company private. That settlement required that in addition to paying a $20 million fine and stepping down as Tesla’s board chairman, Musk would also need to secure approval for some of his statements related to Tesla’s operations.

According to the New York Times, one of Musk’s lawyers John Hueston claimed in a court hearing this month that vagueness around those restrictions on Musk’s tweets created a “murky policy.” But if there was any question over specifically what those terms entailed, there shouldn’t be now.

This week’s filing states Musk must “obtain the pre-approval of an experienced securities lawyer employed by [Tesla] of any written communication” relating to company financial figures, statements, deals, legal decisions, forecasts, estimates, or “such other topics as the Company or the majority of the independent members of its Board of Directors may request, if it or they believe pre-approval of communications regarding such additional topics would protect the interests of the Company’s shareholders.”

Advertisement

Yeah, we’ll see about that.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

snogglethorpe
snogglethorpe

Even outside of financial/legal improprieties, Musk has always had severe self-control problems on Twitter, and combined with his thin skin, has many times gotten into hot water by getting his knickers in a twist and tweeting something stupid.

Really he needs to just have an assistant do his tweeting, and give them enough control to say “no” when necessary.