Elon Musk asks judge to exempt him from settlement, meaning lawyers review his tweets | Science and technology news


Elon Musk has gone to court to ask a judge to free him from the constraints of a deal he made with US regulators that forces him to have his tweets about Tesla pre-approved by a lawyer.

Mister musk was forced to sign the agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018 after claiming he had secured funding to take the company private for $420 (£325) a share, which the shares sent on a wild ride.

But the billionaire is now arguing that he was forced to sign the agreement, officially known as the Consent Decree, due to “relentless regulatory pressure from the SEC,” according to a court filing.

Tesla’s stock price has skyrocketed over the past two years

That’s what the lawyers for the Tesla boss argued at the time Tesla Musk said it was “a less mature company” and that allowing attorneys to review his tweets was in the company’s interest.

Tesla’s shares have skyrocketed over the past two years, going from under $90 (£68) in January 2020 to over $800 (£607) today.

“As Tesla’s then-CEO and chairman of the board, I knew that the company and its shareholders would be placed at undue risk if I did not resolve the matter promptly,” the court filings read.

It follows an ongoing war of words between Tesla and US regulators with the electric car company SEC allegations of ‘relentless investigation’ aimed at restricting Mr Musk’s right to freedom of expression.

According to attorney Alex Spiro, the SEC is pursuing the billionaire because he “remains an outspoken critic of the government;

At the time of the original settlement in 2018, Tesla and Musk both agreed to pay $20 million in fines each Having Tesla lawyers pre-screen some of Musk’s communicationsincluding tweets that could affect Tesla’s stock price.

Elon Musk with a Tesla Model S. Image: AP
Elon Musk’s attorneys argued that the SEC was infringing on his right to free speech

A letter filed with the court earlier this year revealed that the SEC had issued another subpoena to review Mr. Musk’s compliance with the 2018 agreement.

It was then that the billionaire asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla tier, sparking a sell-off.

The attorney letter on behalf of Musk and Tesla was filed eight days after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Tesla on allegations by black workers that they tolerated racial discrimination at their Fremont, California facility.

Tesla, which called that lawsuit “misguided,” is also seeking to reduce or throw away a $137 million jury award to a black former elevator operator who was allegedly exposed to a hostile work environment at the factory.

Another body, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced in February that it was launching an investigation into Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles after receiving complaints about unexpected braking related to their Autopilot system.

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