Friday 12 March 2021 7:18 pm

Tesla shareholder sues Elon Musk over tweets

A shareholder in electric car firm Tesla is suing outspoken boss Elon Musk, claiming that his tweets have exposed investors to billions in losses.

The claim accuses Musk of breaking a settlement reached with the US Securities and Exchange Commission back in 2018.

At that time, the regulator came down hard on the South Africa-born entrepreneur after he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla public.

The move inflated share prices by more than 13 per cent, the regulator said, violating securities laws.

As part of the settlement, Musk and Tesla both agreed to pay fines of $20m, and Musk also agreed to have some of his tweets vetted by lawyers.

But the new lawsuit alleges that the billionaire has continued to issue tweets without the required advance approval.

It says that Musk and company directors should pay damages to the company for breaching the agreement.

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Tesla’s share price has been all over the place in recent days, falling dramatically only to soar back to new heights amid general confusion on Wall Street.

Musk has also risked the displeasure of regulators with his recent tweets about Bitcoin.

Having first tweeted in support of the cryptocurrency, helping it spike to record highs, he then performed a near-complete volte-face.

Industry insiders told City A.M. that Musk’s comments would “raise eyebrows with the authorities”.

“No one will be doubting that he has the right to an opinion, and he also has the right to change that opinion, but if your opinion has so much influence on other people, well, it’s not something that should be taken lightly.”