Elon Musk and the US Securities and Exchange Commission appear to have reached a settlement on the Tesla CEO's Twitter use that Musk sees as his free expression but the SEC sees as market manipulation.
The deal means Musk would face the threat of being held in contempt as the SEC has required.
Under the new rules, Musk must get a Tesla securities lawyer's sign off on tweets (and other communications) regarding Tesla's finances, its production and delivery numbers, new lines of business, sales projections, proposed mergers, fundraising efforts, regulatory decisions, and several other types of information.
Tesla produced about 63,000 Model 3 vehicles in the period, an increase of three percent from the same quarter a year earlier but fewer than had been anticipated. It now looks like Musk will (really) have to clear some of his Tesla-related tweets with a lawyer. Musk said that orders for other right-hand drive countries, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong would follow shortly after the UK.
The source also noted that Tesla has 10 employees onsite to supervise the construction of what is likely to be the most-watched construction site in the world.
The terms of the agreement between Tesla's co-founder and chief executive and the top Wall Street regulator include gaining pre-approval from a Tesla-appointed lawyer before Mr Musk makes certain public statements, according to a court document.
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But Musk really got into trouble in August 2018, when out of the blue, he tweeted that was considering taking Tesla private and that he had secured funding to do so.
In the first deal, Musk had also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20 million and forfeit his role as chairman of the board for at least three years.
In the filing, the two sides said they agreed to make amendments to a deal they struck a year ago, laying out more clearly what communications from Musk require oversight and approval by SEC attorneys.
They said the SEC was violating Mr Musk's First Amendment rights to free speech.
Tesla's $1.8-B junk bond fell to yield 8.42%, more than 3 percentage points above the bond's coupon rate of 5.3%.
Responding to their petition with a defense that practically snarled at the SEC and called them authoritarian bullies with sensitive egos certainly wouldn't endear Musk to any SEC regulator who may have been debating what sanction to seek against Musk had the SEC prevailed. While Tesla conceded that Musk did not receive pre-approval for the February posts, the company has since claimed that he didn't need it.