Elon Musk and SEC settle dispute over Telsa boss´s tweets

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Tesla AI chip artificial intelligence self driving cars robotaxis

The owner of Tesla Inc, Elon Musk, has entered into an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle a dispute about the information he publishes on Twitter.

The SEC asked U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan to hold Musk in contempt, alleging a February 19 tweet from Musk - which claimed Tesla would deliver half a million vehicles this year - violated the terms of an earlier securities fraud agreement that required Musk's tweets concerning company news to be pre-approved by the agency. The agreement must be accepted by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who has presided over the situation.

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.

In Musk's original tweet, he said Tesla would make 500,000 cars in 2019, a higher figure that people were expecting from the automaker this year, so would certainly affect the value of Tesla's stock. In a separate case, a federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday said he can not escape a lawsuit by a British cave rescuer who took offence over name-calling by Mr Musk after he ridiculed the entrepreneur's mini-submarine. The SEC sued him because of market manipulation.

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. Under a settlement with the SEC previous year, he's supposed to have the company oversee his Tesla-related tweets that could influence the market.

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When the SEC first petitioned to have Musk held in contempt, it was a genuine question as to whether Musk had finally taken his unique, carefree style of executive management of Tesla one step too far.

The California-based company reported a loss of $702 million in the first three months of this year after two consecutive quarters of profit. The spat largely came about because of Musk's frequent and casual use of Twitter, which he uses for not only chatting with customers and sharing memes, but also to post information about Tesla's outlook.

The company attributed its disappointing financial results to Model 3 shipping delays, particularly in Europe and China.

The SEC complaint alleged that he mislead Tesla investors with the claim in the tweet, which caused shares to rise, even though he hadn't discussed confirmed key terms of the deal.

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