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Elon Musk in trouble again for tweeting about Tesla

Elon Musk in trouble again for tweeting about Tesla

Tesla did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the reported lawsuit.

In a December interview with "60 Minutes", Musk said none of his tweets had been censored since the settlement, and that only those that could cause Tesla stock to move would need to be reviewed.

The SEC contempt motion followed Musk's tweet to his more than 24 million Twitter followers on February 19: "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019", meaning 500,000 vehicles.

Musk and Tesla's settlements with the SEC were an outgrowth of his infamous tweets last August that he had "funding secured" for taking the electric-car maker private at a price of $US420 a share. About four hours later the same day he added, "Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week".

The seeming resolution of the SEC case, plus Tesla's profit-generating increase in production for its Model 3 electric vehicle, sent Tesla's share price as high as $376.

Musk later tweeted a meme after the news became public.

Tesla's attorney saw the tweet after it was published and asked Musk to correct the error, the SEC said.

Trump Optimistic For US-China Trade Deal, Expects To Meet Xi
However, on Tuesday, Trump suggested that he might extend the March 1 deadline citing that the talks are going "very well". The president has said that any deal must include profound structural changes in China's state-led economic system.

The agency's contempt request was over a February 19 tweet by Musk saying Tesla expects to produce around 500,000 Model 3s in 2019.

Allegations that Musk broke the agreement by tweeting without company approval could renew a debate about whether he has become too reckless to continue as Tesla's CEO. "But Musk's initial projection still may be considered a violation because the information could be considered material to Tesla shareholders - and the lawyers didn't see it before Musk sent it".

"It's very clear that the SEC is not happy with Musk", said Stephen Diamond, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University who specializes in corporate governance.

Musk was able to keep his CEO job provided Tesla implemented procedures to ensure that he didn't tweet important information again.

The motion asks the judge to issue an order that would put the onus on Mr Musk to show why he should not be held in contempt for violating the settlement.

Even beyond last week's tweets, Musk hasn't been making a "good faith" effort to comply with the settlement agreement, the agency said. The regulator called for Musk to be held in contempt for violating a previous judgment related to his penchant to tweet info that runs afoul of securities rules.

"While Musk claims to 'respect the justice system, ' his deliberate indifference to compliance with this court's final judgment indicates otherwise", the agency said.


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