A tweet from Tesla boss Elon Musk caused excitement among investors in 2018. Did it possibly also directly trigger price fluctuations? Judges in San Francisco see this as unproven.
Tesla boss Elon Musk sees himself strengthened by the recent acquittal in the process of an investor lawsuit in the fight against oversight of his tweets about the electric car manufacturer. The San Francisco jury’s verdict invalidates the SEC’s order, Musk’s attorney argued in a letter filed Tuesday.
Musk is said to have had tweets about Tesla that could affect the carmaker’s share price released by the company for more than four years. He is currently trying to overturn the orders in an appeals court because they restricted his right to free speech.
Musk wrote on Twitter in August 2018 that he was considering taking Tesla private. “Funding secured,” he added. Many controversies later arose around this sentence, since it turned out that there were no written commitments from investors. The SEC accused Musk of misleading investors and, in addition to overseeing his tweet, also enforced his resignation as chairman of the board of directors. Musk and Tesla were also fined $20 million each.
In the recently completed trial in San Francisco, investors wanted Musk in a class action lawsuit to compensate for their losses due to price fluctuations after the tweets at the time. Her lawyers would have had to convince the jury that Musk had deliberately spread false information and that the price fluctuations and her trading decisions were a direct result of his statements. They couldn’t.