Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been told by a federal judge to come to an agreement regarding the former’s use of Twitter.
Appearing at a federal court in New York, Musk was the center of attention as a judge heard oral arguments in a lawsuit brought forward by the SEC asking for him to be held in contempt for violating a settlement reached last September.
Judge Alison Nathan heard arguments from both sides, with the SEC claiming Musk is in “clear violation” of his agreement for not having tweets authorized before they are published. Musk’s lawyers argued that he had not violated the terms of the agreement.
The judge told the two parties to “take a deep breath, put their reasonable pants on and work it out.” She gave the parties two weeks to talk and come back to the court with an agreement, The Guardian reports.
Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Musk reached an agreement with the SEC in October after infamously tweeting that he had the funds in place to take Tesla private – which was proven to be inaccurate. As part of the agreement, Musk was to have any tweets with “material” information about Tesla pre-approved by a board established specifically to oversee his Twitter use.
On February 9, Musk appeared to violate this settlement when he tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.” He later corrected himself saying annualized production would likely be “around” 500,000 cars by the end of the year, with deliveries totaling 400,000 units
According to professor of corporate governance at the University of Delaware, Charles Elson, “the issue isn’t that he corrected the tweet, it’s that he was supposed to get approval before he did it and he did not. He breached the settlement, so the SEC can do whatever they wish.”
Briefly speaking with the media after his appearance in court, Musk said he was “very happy with the results and very impressed with Judge Nathan’s analysis.”