Judge urges SEC and Tesla CEO’tweet’ Payoff

Austin Texas. GETTY

The problem over Musk's tweets goes back to a settlement reached following Musk tweeted that he had secured the funds to take Tesla personal at $420 an share - a significant premium over the price at the period - when he did not.

Musk later backed off the idea of taking the company private, but regulators concluded he had not lined up the money to pull off the deal.

After that, and as part of a settlement agreement between them, Musk personally paid a $20 million fine.

The SEC says Musk violated the settlement when he tweeted about Tesla's automobile manufacturing in February without the approval of a lawyer.

Although buried in a reply to a Twitter user, it certainly appears that Elon Musk has issued a Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) production forecast outside of the company's investor relations channel or SEC filings. His lawyers said the SEC violated his First Amendment rights to free speech.

But Musk attorney John Hueston told the judge that the SEC had failed to show his client had violated the deal.

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Mr Musk and Tesla later settled with the SEC.

Concerns about demand for Tesla's vehicles escalated last week after the Nikkei reported the company and its partner Panasonic Corp. were freezing plans to expand capacity at the battery factory they share in Nevada. The agency contends that Musk hasn't sought the lawyer's approval for a single tweet.

As of Thursday's close, Tesla stocks were down 19.5% so far this season.

Tesla said 63,000 vehicles were just delivered by it down 31% from the fourth quarter of 2018.

The CEO claims that with the constant adding technology into our vehicles - we are eventually trying to make the auto so autonomous that you can have it taxi other people and earn you money - making our cars "appreciating assets". It took Tesla years to hit the promised $35,000 Model 3 milestone, and true hands-off Autopilot tech was initially expected to arrive before 2017, to name a couple examples.

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