SCOTUS Has Bad News for Musk Over Tesla Tweets

High court rejects his appeal on mandate that he gets approval before posting online about his company
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2024 11:40 AM CDT
SCOTUS Has Bad News for Musk Over Tesla Tweets
The Supreme Court is seen in Washington on March 26.   (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Elon Musk over a settlement with securities regulators that requires him to get approval in advance of tweets related to Tesla. The justices didn't comment in leaving in place lower-court rulings against Musk, who complained that the requirement amounts to "prior restraint" on his speech in violation of the First Amendment, per the AP. The case stems from tweets Musk posted in 2018 in which he claimed he'd secured funding to take Tesla private. The tweets caused the company's share price to jump and led to a temporary halt in trading.

The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission included a requirement that his tweets be approved first by a Tesla attorney. It also called for Musk and Tesla to pay civil fines over the tweets in which Musk said he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The funding wasn't secured, and Tesla remains public. The SEC's initial enforcement action against Musk alleged that his tweets about going private violated antifraud provisions of securities laws. The agency began investigating whether Musk violated the settlement in 2021 when he didn't get approval before asking followers on Twitter, now X, if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Musk acquired Twitter in 2022.

(More Elon Musk stories.)

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