This guy refuses to be bullied by the government.
This Thursday, April 18, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s lawyers will sit down with their legal counterparts from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Bloomberg. A US federal judge ordered the two parties to sit for at least one hour and attempt to resolve their differences. If this can’t be done, then Musk’s latest tweets could be ruled in contempt of court. This all stems from a tweet Musk made two months ago stating Tesla would build half a million vehicles in 2019.
The SEC claims this tweet was in contempt of the settlement reached with Tesla last year that saw Musk give up his role as company chairman and for his tweets to be monitored internally. Tesla also had to pay a $20 million fine. And now Musk is at it again, only days before the meeting that could decide his Twitter future.
A couple of days ago, April 14 to be exact, Musk once again went on Twitter and wrote the following in response to another tweet: "Tesla will make over 500k cars in next 12 months, but that’s a mere 2% of 25M or 0.02% of global vehicle fleet. Car industry slow -> demand >> supply.” The "500k” part is what the SEC won’t like.
In fact, Musk is literally daring them to take some sort of action against his "free speech rights,” the argument his legal team made against the SEC. If this tweet and others like it are found to be held in contempt by the judge, then Musk may face more than just hefty fines; his Twitter days could be over entirely.
Or, at the very least, whatever he posts could wind up being statements carefully prepared by someone else at Tesla. Honestly, it would be best if Musk’s lawyers and the SEC were to reach an agreement of some sort. Musk has long been very active on Twitter where he not only announces some company/product updates, but also uses it as a platform to reach out to customers. These customers often make suggestions to improve various aspects of their vehicles and Musk not only acknowledges their issues, but also acts upon them. What other automaker CEO does that? We’ll find out later this week what the lawyers come up with to resolve things.