Elon Musk deleted a tweet hinting at Tesla potentially becoming the world’s largest company “in just a few months.”
The SEC might be watching …
Musk’s use of Twitter has been the subject of scrutiny by financial authorities for some time now.
The most famous is that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Musk over his infamous ‘finance-insured’ tweet about his failed attempt to keep Tesla private in 2018.
The SEC ruled that Musk was exaggerating when he said the funding was “secured.” Tesla and Musk have reached a settlement with the SEC.
As part of the settlement, Musk agreed to resign from his role as chairman of the board of directors, and both Tesla and Musk had to pay $ 20 million in fines each.
The CEO presumably didn’t want Tesla to have to pay for his issue with the SEC, and while he couldn’t pay for Tesla’s portion of the fine right away, he decided to buy Tesla’s stock for $ 20 million.
That way, he indirectly paid Tesla’s fine, although he was also given ~ 71,000 additional Tesla shares in the process.
As we reported earlier, Musk ended up making money from the settlement because of the surge in Tesla’s stock price last year.
The SEC also asked Tesla to monitor Musk’s use of Twitter so he wouldn’t share material information that could affect the market.
Now the situation reoccurs when Musk tweeted something that could fall into that category.
In our Slack newsroom on Electrek, we’ve set up an automated feed of Musk’s tweets. Every once in a while, among all the memes he tweets, there are newsworthy items.
Today we woke up to a series of tweets and the last one has been deleted:
Regarding the impact of Tesla’s release of Full Self-Driving on the automaker’s valuation, Musk said there is more than 0% chance of Tesla becoming the largest company in the world.
This is something he said before and is not material to Tesla’s appreciation.
However, someone with the Twitter handle @ ToonLa24 replied that they “like the direction of that arrow” regarding the “over” sign Musk used, and the CEO surprisingly responded with “probably in a few months.”
Many people interpreted the tweet as Musk saying that Tesla could become the largest company in the world within a few months, but that’s not clear.
The CEO quickly removed the tweet, which many people noted that it could be material information and in violation of the SEC injunction.
I personally don’t see a problem here.
Musk who believes Tesla could become the world’s largest company if it fixes self-driving isn’t material, it’s clear.
In fact, I dare say that most people would agree that if Tesla suddenly gets its vision-based self-driving system using its current hardware, which has already been approved by regulators in hundreds of thousands of cars, it would likely unlock hundreds of billions in value.
The question is more whether Tesla can achieve that achievement and on what timeline.
Musk has already said it would happen this year, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla becomes the largest company in the world this year.
But he was wrong about that timeline before, and many people doubt it will ever happen.
Regardless, I don’t see the SEC going after this one as it didn’t seem to have any impact on Tesla’s stock anyway.
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