The richest man in the world discovered that he cannot have everything he wants Wednesday when a federal judge denied his request to toss a 2018 Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) agreement. The SEC maintained that some of Musk’s tweets had to be “preapproved,” according to The Axios.
‘[T]hat does not establish a basis for him to get out of the judgment he voluntarily signed.’
Musk’s argument that the SEC was harassing him, did not hold water either. And the idea that the governmental agency would administer multiple investigations into his company, was rejected by the judge, too, as “meritless.”
The billionaire had already made inroads to buying Twitter in March when he requested a federal judge end the consent decree with the SEC. It claimed attorneys for Tesla had to “vet his tweets regarding his company.” Musk had tweeted that he was going to make Tesla a private company, and he had “funding secured.”
In the original agreement, he had to resign as the business’ chairman of the board and pay $20 million in fines, too. Musk’s argument was that he had been “coerced into making the deal with the SEC.” He argued that he “never lied to shareholders” when he tweeted he had already “secured funding” for going private.
According to his opinion, U.S. District Judge Lewis Linman said:
‘Musk, by entering into the consent decree in 2018, agreed to the provision requiring the pre-approval of any such written communications that contain, or reasonably could contain, information material to Tesla or its shareholders.’
Judge Linman added:
‘He cannot now complain that this provision violates his First Amendment rights. Musk’s argument that the SEC has used the consent decree to harass him and to launch investigations of his speech is likewise meritless and, in this case, particularly ironic.’
Liman had little regard for Musk’s argument that the ruling caused the billionaire “economic duress,” according to ABC News. The judge wrote that it was “wholly unpersuasive:”
‘Musk could hardly have thought that at the time he entered the decree (settlement) he would have been immune from non-public SEC investigations. It is unsurprising that when Musk tweeted that the was thinking about selling 10% of his interest in Tesla … that the SEC would have some questions.’
Was that the reason Musk wanted to own Twitter?
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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