Elon Musk, was cleared of all charges in twitter trial involving tweets claiming funding was secured in 2018.

by Jody Godoy, Hyun Joo Jin, and Nivedita Balu in

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was cleared of all charges in a trial involving tweets claiming that funding was secured in 2018.
by Jody Godoy, Hyun Joo Jin, and Nivedita Balu in

(Reuters) – SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3 – Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O), and his business were found not at fault by a U.S. jury on Friday for deceiving investors when Musk tweeted in 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take the electric car firm private.

Plaintiffs had sought billions in damages, and Musk himself, who frequently expresses his opinions on Twitter, had deemed the ruling crucial.

Two hours into the jury’s deliberations, they returned with a unanimous decision.

Musk did not attend court when the jury’s judgement was announced, but he quickly tweeted that he was “truly appreciative” of their choice.

Thank heavens, the people’s wisdom has won out, he said.
For Musk and Tesla, “a dark chapter is now closed,” according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. Ives noted that some Tesla shareholders worried that if Musk lost, he could have to sell additional Tesla stock.

The second-richest person in the world has previously caused legal and regulatory issues with his occasionally impetuous usage of Twitter, the social media platform he paid $44 billion for in October.

Minor Myers, a professor of corporate law at the University of Connecticut who had earlier praised the strength of the investors’ argument, referred to the result as “astonishing.”

It has “always been believed to be this wonderful bastion against misstatements and falsehoods,” he said, referring to the U.S. anti-securities fraud statute. In response to the decision, he stated, “This outcome makes you wonder if it is up to the job in current markets” and predicted that Musk would “double down” on his communication strategies.

In recent months, Tesla, SpaceX, and now Twitter have all competed for Musk’s attention. Investors at Tesla have expressed concern that he has been focusing too much on managing the social media company.

BAD WORD SELECTION
Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018, that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, a premium of nearly 23% over the previous day’s closing, and that he had “financing secured.” Tesla shareholders felt Musk had misled them.

When Musk tweeted later that day that “investor support is confirmed,” they claim he was lying.

Following the tweets, the stock price rose before dropping once more on August 17, 2018, as it became obvious that the buyout would not go through.

During closing arguments, Porritt said that the billionaire CEO should be held accountable for the tweets because he is not above the law.

In the end, he claimed, “this issue is about whether Elon Musk should be subject to the same regulations that apply to everyone else.”

However, investors only concerned that Musk was exploring a buyout, according to Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro, who contended that the tweet’s claim that “financing secured” was “technically wrong.”

He claimed that “the entire case is founded on poor word choice.” Who gives a damn about poor word choice?

During closing arguments, Spiro remarked, “Just because it’s a terrible tweet, doesn’t mean it’s fraud.

Investor losses could have reached $12 billion, according to estimates from an economist hired by the shareholders.

Musk testified for over nine hours during the three-week trial, telling the jury that he thought the tweets were accurate. He claimed to have secured the required funding, including an oral promise from the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. According to Musk, the fund eventually changed its mind about their pledge.

Musk later stated during testimony that he “thought funding was secured” with just the stock of his rocket company SpaceX and that he had the ability to sell enough shares to finance a buyout.

Musk claimed in his testimony that he sent the tweets in an effort to equalise small shareholders with major investors who were aware of the agreement. However, he acknowledged that the Saudi fund and other potential investors had not given him any official guarantees.

The decision is another win for Musk and his attorney Spiro, who in 2019 prevailed in a defamation action against the billionaire after a tweet in which he referred to a cave explorer as a “pedo man.”

by Jody Godoy, Hyun Joo Jin, and Nivedita Balu in

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