Tesla's Musk agrees to new vetting rules for tweets in SEC deal

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Elon Musk and USA securities regulators have settled their dispute over the Tesla CEO's tweets, with Musk consenting to getting his future communications about the electric-car maker pre-approval with a company-employed specialist.

Elon Musk has struck a deal over his Twitter use with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, averting a decision by a federal judge on whether the billionaire should be held in contempt of court.

In February, the SEC accused Musk of violating that settlement by sending a tweet about Tesla's production that had not been vetted by the company's attorneys, and asked U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan to hold him in contempt.

This superseding agreement settles a dispute between the SEC and Musk about whether the Tesla chief violated the terms of their original deal in which he had agreed to clear his tweets containing material information about the company before posting.

Musk was nearly immediately hit with two lawsuits which alleged that Musk's Tweets were fraudulent effort to attack short sellers.

Friday's agreement "removes an overhang" for Tesla shareholders, said Dan Ives, managing director for equity research at Wedbush Securities.

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If that seems kind of like what he agreed to the first time Musk and the SEC reached a settlement post-"Funding secured" that's because it is similar.

Tesla's stock has now fallen 29 percent in 2019 and the company's market capitalization has declined to $41 billion from $63 billion in mid-December.

The SEC said in the filing that the agreement "is fair, reasonable, and in the interest of the parties and investors because the proposed revisions will provide additional clarity regarding the written communications for which the defendant is required to obtain pre-approval". Hours later, he clarified that Tesla hoped to reach a 500,000 car-per-year production rate by the end of 2019 and deliver 400,000 cars this year.

They said the SEC was violating Mr Musk's First Amendment rights to free speech. Tesla's plan to comply with it allowed Musk to essentially decide for himself when his tweets needed to get that pre-approval.

On Monday, Musk hosted a self-driving vehicle presentation, where he predicted Tesla would have over a million autonomous vehicles by next year. "It recognizes that investors are smart enough to distinguish between tweets that are material information - and Elon being Elon".

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