Elon Musk to Explain Delay in Reporting Twitter Stocks Buy, Says US Regulators


US market authorities have asked Elon Musk to explain the apparent delay in reporting his purchases of Twitter shares, the agency revealed Friday, with the latest questions about the methods and intent of his troubled bid for the platform.

Musk became a major shareholder in Twitter after buying 73.5 million shares in early April, and less than two weeks later launched a hostile takeover offer.

He went on to sign a $44 billion (about Rs 3,41,800 crore) deal to buy the San Francisco-based company, but has since given mixed signals as to the extent of his commitment to follow through.

A letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to Musk showed that regulators asked him to explain why his growing stake in Twitter was not disclosed within a 10-day period, especially if he intends to buy the company.

“Your response should address, among other things, your recent public statements on the Twitter platform regarding Twitter, including statements questioning whether Twitter adheres strictly to the principles of freedom of expression,” the regulators said in the letter dated April 4th.

Neither Musk nor the Securities and Exchange Commission immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Tesla chief is a frequent Twitter user, regularly making controversial and controversial statements about other issues or public figures with eccentric or business-focused remarks.

He has repeatedly quarreled with federal securities regulators, who cracked down on his use of social media after the collapse of an alleged attempt to take over Tesla in 2018.

Musk cited the right to free speech as a motivation for his efforts to undo an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that toughened his use of the social media platform after his August 2018 tweet that funding was “guaranteed” to make Tesla private.

Musk also faces a lawsuit filed this week accusing him of lowering Twitter’s stock price in order to give himself an escape hatch from his buy-out offer, or space to negotiate a discount.

The lawsuit alleges that Musk tweeted and made statements intended to raise doubts about the deal, which has roiled the social media platform for weeks.

According to the complaint, “Musk proceeded to make statements, send tweets, and engage in behavior intended to create doubt about the transaction and drive Twitter’s stock significantly lower.”

The lawsuit said his goal was to gain leverage to acquire Twitter at a much cheaper rate, or to back out of the deal without incurring any penalty.


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