Tesla Subpoenaed Again Over Elon Musk’s Tweets As the CEO Takes to Twitter to Complain About Media Negativity

Election Campaign CDU - Laschet and Musk visit Tesla Factory, Grünheide, Brandenburg, Germany - 13 Aug 2021
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Tesla revealed it received another Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoena in November, “seeking information on our governance processes around compliance with the SEC settlement, as amended,” according to an SEC filing. The development sent Elon Musk on a Twitter rant on Feb. 7., making him wonder “Why is the “traditional” media such a relentless hatestream? Real question.”

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Shares of Tesla were flat in pre-market trading on Feb. 8.

The Nov. 16, 2021, subpoena came on the heels of the ones issued “in connection with Elon Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private. The take-private investigation was resolved and closed with a settlement entered into with the SEC in September 2018 and as further clarified in April 2019 in an amendment,” according to the filing. The new subpoena was also issued a few days after Musk’s Twitter poll, asking his 63 million Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.

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“Most news outlets attempt to answer the question: “What are the worst things happening on Earth today?” It’s a big planet! Obviously, some bad things are happening somewhere at any given time, but focusing relentlessly on those does not give an accurate picture of reality,” Musk tweeted. 

“So hard to find out what’s going on in the world without being bombarded with news that makes one sad & angry!” he added. 

The SEC had sued Musk, following the 2018 tweets saying he would take the EV company private,  claiming, “Musk knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions. When he made these statements, Musk knew that he had never discussed a going-private transaction at $420 per share with any potential funding source, had done nothing to investigate whether it would be possible for all current investors to remain with Tesla as a private company via a ‘special purpose fund,’ and had not confirmed support of Tesla’s investors for a potential going private transaction,” according to the Sept. 2018 SEC filing.

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Earlier this month, Musk maintained in a Feb. 1 court filing that his tweet was “entirely truthful” and that investors who claim the missive was fraudulent are wrong, as GOBankingRates previously reported. 

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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