U.S. market authorities have asked Elon Musk to explain the apparent delay in his Twitter stock buying report, the agency said Friday, the latest question about its problematic bidding method and intent for the platform.
Musk became a major Twitter stockholder after buying 73.5 million shares in early April and launched an unfavorable takeover bid less than two weeks later.
He signed a $ 44 billion deal to buy the San Francisco-based company, but has since given mixed signals about how committed he is.
The letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to Musk showed that regulators had asked him to explain why he had not disclosed his extended stake in Twitter within the required 10 days, especially if he planned to buy the company.
“Your response should address, among other things, your recent public statements on Twitter-related Twitter platforms, including statements questioning whether Twitter adheres strictly to freedom of speech principles,” regulators said in an April 4 letter.
Neither Mask nor the SEC responded to requests for comment.
The Tesla chief is a frequent Twitter user, regularly making bizarre or business-centric comments with inflammatory and controversial statements about issues or other public figures.
He has repeatedly clashed with federal securities regulators, who cracked down on his social media use in 2018 after a so-called attempt to privatize Tesla was foiled.
Musk cited the right to freedom of speech as a driver in an effort to restore a deal with the SEC that tightened the use of social media platforms after his August 2018 tweet that funds were “secured” to Tesla’s privatization.
Musk is also facing a lawsuit filed this week alleging that he pushed Twitter’s stock price to protect himself from his purchase bids, or to negotiate a discount.
The lawsuit alleges that Musk tweeted and made statements intended to cast doubt on the deal, which has been stirring up social media platforms for weeks.
The indictment states that “Mask was involved in making statements, sending tweets and raising suspicions about the deal and in a deliberate attempt to significantly reduce Twitter’s stock.”
His motive was to gain leverage to get Twitter at a much lower price, or to withdraw from the contract without any penalties, the lawsuit argued.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)