Elon Musk on the witness stand, defending Tesla buyout tweets

Elon Musk on the witness stand, defending Tesla buyout tweets

During testimony Friday in the trial over 2018 tweets associated to the electrical automobile maker doubtlessly going personal, Tesla CEO Elon Musk defended his Twitter posts.

His testimony Friday got here after the trial kicked off in San Francisco earlier in the week. In the civil lawsuit, some Tesla shareholders alleged tweets Musk made in 2018 about probably taking the firm personal had been deceptive and brought about them to lose cash. 

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While testifying Friday, Musk pushed again in opposition to there being a “causal relationship” between his tweets and the electrical automobile maker’s inventory worth. 

Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue) (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue / Getty Images)

“I believe you’re linking issues on Twitter to as the inventory costs after they’re not linked,” Musk mentioned. “That’s why I gave the instance, even when I say on Twitter that I believe the inventory worth is just too excessive, the inventory worth nonetheless goes increased.”

He additionally mentioned that Tesla’s share worth “goes up and down all the time” and that he doesn’t assume “some tweet about one thing utterly unrelated to Tesla goes to have an impact on the inventory worth.”

Elon Musk gives a speech in Shanghai

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk speaks at a gap ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo (Reuters Photos)

In regards to the brevity of tweets, Musk argued in his testimony that it was “deceptive” to “conflate deceptive with quick.”

He appeared to agree at one level that there have been cases the place Twitter’s character restrict might be limiting for offering particulars. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.133.42+6.25+4.91%

“I imply, there’s issues like, for instance, Tesla security blogs, whatnot, which had been prolonged and so, you understand, these are on our web site,” he mentioned. 

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“But, I imply, I’ve tweeted about Tesla security in tweets,” he advised the lawyer. “The tweets are truthful. They’re merely quick. I believe you’re attempting to conflate deceptive with quick. That’s deceptive.”

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Reuters/Michele Tantussi/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Musk beforehand faced an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection to the August 2018 buyout tweets, one in all which mentioned, “Am contemplating taking Tesla personal at $420. Funding secured.” The different mentioned that “investor assist is confirmed” and that the “solely motive why this isn’t sure is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote.” Ultimately, no buyout came about. 

He settled the securities fraud expenses from the SEC “with out admitting or denying” the allegations in September 2018, in accordance with an SEC press release. The settlements included Tesla having to “put in place extra controls and procedures to supervise Musk’s communications” and him and the firm being required to pay a collective $40 million in penalties, amongst different issues, the company mentioned at the time. 

Tesla’s share price was buying and selling at about $133 on Friday, up about 23% from the starting of 2023 however down roughly 57% over the previous yr.

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