Bulletins

Elon Musk tells SEC that preapproved tweets are 'unworkable'

The SEC requires Musk to get approval for his tweets. That hasn't quite worked out.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is asking the SEC to get rid of a 2018 settlement that requires tweet preapproval.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Elon Musk wants free rein over his tweets. But Musk says the SEC is standing in the way of that.

Musk has a track record of moving markets with his tweets — so much so that in 2018, securities regulators reached a deal with Elon Musk and Tesla that required Musk's tweets to be preapproved. But the SEC has been skeptical about whether Musk and Tesla are actually complying with those terms. In November, Musk tweeted a poll asking his followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. A couple weeks later, Tesla received a subpoena about whether the company was meeting the terms of the agreement.


Now, Musk wants the SEC to get rid of that settlement altogether. Musk's lawyers filed a motion in Manhattan federal court Tuesday asking a federal judge to scrap the deal, arguing that the policy to oversee his tweets is unworkable, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The fight between the SEC, Tesla and Musk's Twitter account has gone on for a while, but the SEC's enforcement of the settlement hasn't been too effective. Tesla named an independent chair who works on a committee to ensure Musk and Tesla are complying with the agreement, but it's unclear what that group has gotten done. On the other hand, the SEC has struggled to enforce the terms of the deal.

In a separate filing, Musk is also challenging the commission's claims that led to the settlement in the first place. He tweeted in 2018 that he secured the funding needed to take Tesla private, leading the SEC to charge him with securities fraud. But now, Musk said he felt cornered into the settlement and claimed that he "never lied to shareholders." "I would never lie to shareholders. I entered the consent decree for the survival of Tesla, for the sake of its shareholders," Musk said.

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