Elon Musk’s Lawyers Slam SEC Filing for ‘Unprecedented Overreach’

김동수 기자 / 기사승인 : 2019-08-08 17:33:19



▲ [Photo source : Wikimedia Commons]

[스페셜경제= Dongsu Kim] Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk's lawyers shoot down regulators on Monday night, arguing that the Securities and Exchange Commission is overdoing and infringing on the CEO's First Amendment rights as they seek to hold him in contempt of court.

Musk had only until Monday to give his explanation as to why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court regarding a tweet on February, which was posted after trading hours, which the SEC claimed have breached a settlement agreement made in September, CNBC reported.

However, the CEO's lawyers disagreed and argued that the tweets in question complied in the terms of the SEC settlement. The said Musk has significantly reduced his number of tweets, both generally and those that concern Tesla in particular. They added that he has also been diligent in his efforts to abide by the terms of the earlier settlement—even going as far as self-censoring.

One of the terms on the settlement orders Musk to have an appointed in-house attorney that would approve his tweets or any other public statements that may affect Tesla's stock price. This came to be after the SEC sued Musk over a separate tweet in August in which he said the automaker had secured the needed funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The claim was proven to be false and initially sent the electric car maker's stocks soaring.

In the recent February 19 tweet, which triggered the contempt proceedings, the CEO said: "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019." The regulators said the tweet, which was inaccurate, was not vetted as per the terms of the 2018 SEC settlement.

Musk's lawyers described the regulators' motion for contempt as a spiteful response to remarks the Tesla head made during an interview, in which he said he does not respect the SEC.

"This contempt action, following Musk's sincerely-held criticism of the SEC on 60 Minutes, also reflects concerning and unprecedented overreach on the part of the SEC," the team argued. They added that the SEC's "heavy reliance" on the interview for its motion for contempt "smacks of retaliation and censorship."

일론 머스크 테슬라 최고경영자, SEC와 '트윗 금지' 목록 최종 합의해

[스페셜경제= 김동수 기자] 테슬라의 민감한 경영정보를 트윗에 올린 이른바 ‘트윗 공시’로 미국 증권거래위원회(SEC)로부터 피소 됐던 일론 머스크 테슬라 최고경영자(CEO)가 SEC와 ‘트윗 금지’ 목록에 최종 합의했다. 

월스트리트저널(WSJ)는 “머스크와 SEC는 머스크가 테슬라 변호사의 사전 승인 없이 트위터 등 소셜미디어(SNS)에 게시할 수 없는 주제들을 확정하면서 합의에 도달했고, 이를소송이 진행 중인 미 뉴욕 맨해튼연방지법에 보고했다”고 보도했다.

이번에 SEC와 합의된 머스크의 ‘트윗 금지’ 목록으로는 회사 재무 상태와 전망, 잠재적 인수·합병(M&A), 생산·판매 추정치, 신제품 또는 신규 사업 분야, 머스크의 테슬라 주식 매매 동향 등 일반 투자자들에게 민감한 주제들이 포함됐다.

SEC는 이번 합의에 대해 “공정하고 합리적이며 당사자나 투자자들의 이해에 부합하는 것”이라며 만족감을 나타냈다.   

[ⓒ 스페셜경제. 무단전재-재배포 금지]

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