SEC says Elon Musk never sought approval for his tweets

The SEC says the Tesla founder tweeted without approval from Tesla executives.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed another complaint against Tesla founder, Elon Musk. In a court filing, the SEC said that Musk violated an agreement not to tweet without approval from Tesla executives.

Why did the SEC file another complaint against Musk?

The battle between the SEC and Musk started in autumn 2018 when Musk incorrectly tweeted about the number of vehicles the carmaker would produce. The SEC charged Musk with fraud. As a condition of the settlement with the agency, Musk had to get pre-approval for his tweets.

‘The pre-approval requirement was designed to protect against reckless conduct by Musk going forward,’ said the SEC.

However, the SEC said that Musk violated the agreement by tweeting comments criticising the SEC.

‘Something is broken with SEC oversight,’ tweeted Musk.

The SEC filed a complaint in February that said that Musk violated the terms. In its latest filing with a federal judge, the agency said that Musk didn’t adhere to the agreement.

‘It is therefore stunning to learn that, at the time of filing of the [contempt] motion, Musk had not sought pre-approval for a single one of the numerous tweets about Tesla he published in the months since the court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect,’ said the agency.

How did Musk respond to the SEC?

Musk denies the allegations from the SEC and said the agency was violating his First Amendment rights to free speech.

‘The Securities and Exchange Commission's request that Musk be held in civil contempt for a single, immaterial tweet that dutifully complied with [a court-ordered settlement] is incorrect on the facts and on the law,’ said Musk in the court filing.

This latest disagreement between Tesla and the SEC will continue in the US District Court for Southern New York.

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