Here's The Latest Update On Elon Musk's Settlement With The SEC

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had a somewhat contentious relationship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for several years now. A few months after Musk received a subpoena from the SEC for a tweet in which he asked his followers on Twitter if he should sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla, the billionaire now wants a federal judge to quash a consent decree he signed with the SEC in 2018. The ruling essentially mandated Musk to get his tweets approved by a lawyer before he could post them.

Musk's lawyers allege that the 2018 decree violates Elon's First Amendment rights and that it imposes restraints on his speech. Musk also wants to block the aforementioned SEC subpoena from November along with the 2018 decree. While there has been a flare-up in Musk's tussle with the SEC over the past few weeks, his lawyers have long alleged that the agency is subjecting him to what they claim to be "endless and unfounded investigations."

Elon Musk vs. SEC: The story so far

Things started to go sour between the two parties after the SEC sued Musk for a 2018 tweet in which he signaled that Tesla is going private and that he had already secured funding for the purpose. The SEC contended that Musk's tweet was "false and misleading." Following SEC's arguments, Musk agreed to a settlement with the agency in which he okayed the proposal to have his social media posts vetted by a legal team before making them public.

This settlement is what Elon now wants the judge to overturn. His lawyers contend that Musk agreed to the SEC decree only for the "immediate survival of Tesla." According to them, Musk took this decision to serve Tesla's interests after Musk's Investor Relations Team informed him about several large shareholders considering ceding their ownership with the company if Musk did not agree to settle the case with the SEC.

While Musk may have agreed to have his tweets vetted before posting, his subsequent actions indicate otherwise. For example, in 2019, Musk revealed previously undisclosed production numbers for Tesla without reviewing the information. The SEC was quick to swoop in and tell him that he was in contempt of his 2018 agreement with them. Musk's 2019 tweets also resulted in a separate lawsuit filed by a group of shareholders who wanted Musk to stop the "unchecked" use of his Twitter account.

Musk is also facing trouble from another investor who sued him in 2021 for violating the same 2018 SEC agreement. This investor also wanted Elon to stop tweeting "erratic" and "unapproved" posts.

As of March 9, 2022, Musk continues to be active on Twitter. He was in the news recently for his very public decision to ship thousands of Starlink receivers to Ukraine to support the country against Russia's invasion, as revealed to the public via a series of tweets.