Musk Loses Bid to End Restrictions on His Tweets

Judge says Tesla CEO can't back out of 2018 agreement with regulators
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2022 6:32 AM CDT
Musk Loses Bid to End Restrictions on His Tweets
Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” pledged to buy Twitter for $44 billion this week.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(Newser) – Elon Musk has vowed to make Twitter "an inclusive arena for free speech" if his deal to buy the company goes through—but his own tweets will remain restricted. A federal judge in New York has rejected Musk's bid to end an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that limits what he can post about Tesla, the BBC reports. The 2018 deal to settle an SEC lawsuit requires Musk to obtain approval from Tesla's lawyers before he tweets about the company. Musk, Tesla's CEO, was also required to step down as chairman under the settlement. Musk was accused of violating securities laws after he tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. The SEC found that he had only held preliminary talks with investors.

US District Court Judge Lewis J. Liman rejected Musk's argument that he only accepted the settlement to avoid putting financial pressure on Tesla, the New York Times reports. "Musk cannot now seek to retract the agreement he knowingly and willingly entered by simply bemoaning that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time but now—once the spectre of the litigation is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible—wishes that he had not," the judge wrote. The judge also rejected Musk's bid to end an SEC investigation of tweets Musk made last year asking Twitter users whether he should sell Tesla stock, which may have violated the 2018 agreement. (Tesla's falling share price could complicate the Twitter deal.)

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