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Musk loses bid to free tweets from oversight

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Musk loses bid to free tweets from oversight

Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, must still have his posts about his electric car firm Tesla pre-approved after a US judge denied a request to free him from control on Wednesday.

Musk filed a motion last month to lift Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restrictions imposed after a 2018 tweet in which he claimed to have secured funds to take Tesla private but failed to produce proof or file paperwork with the securities regulator.

The post, which prompted wildly fluctuating stock prices, was judged “false and deceptive,” and Tesla shareholders have accused the company of securities fraud.

Musk was also charged with fraud by the SEC, and was required to resign as chair of Tesla’s board of directors, pay a $20 million fine, and have his tweets directly connected to the company’s operations pre-approved by a competent lawyer after another embarrassing remark in early 2019.

Musk said that he was compelled to agree to the deal and that he has never lied 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.

Musk loses bid to free tweets from oversight




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