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US regulator accuses Musk of trying to 'distort' Twitter takeover investigation

US regulator accuses Musk of trying to 'distort' Twitter takeover investigation
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Billionaire suspected of "manipulation" with stocks ahead of Twitter acquisition, where he potentially could have earned around $150 million.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues its investigation into Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter for $44 billion - investigators are determining whether the billionaire violated federal securities laws in 2022, when he acquired 9.2% of Twitter shares well before the acquisition. The regulator requires individuals purchasing more than 5% of a public company's shares to disclose information within 10 days, however, the billionaire did not do so. This potentially "intentional" delay earned the billionaire $156 million and led to a class action lawsuit from former Twitter shareholders.

Musk has been actively avoiding giving testimony, among other things claiming that all information can be found in his biography published by Walter Isaacson. Eventually, the SEC filed a lawsuit, which preliminarily ruled that the billionaire must appear at a hearing and comment on his actions.

In a new twist in the conflict, regulators accused Musk of attempting to "distort" the investigation and using "gimmicks" to slow it down. Interestingly, the SEC's statement does contain a reference to the biography written by Isaacson, which the regulator cites as "recently published evidence":

Three days before he was supposed to appear for testimony (but did not), his biography was published. This book contains new crucial information related to the investigation.

It is worth noting that for many years Musk has been ridiculing the SEC, which accused him of fraud after the infamous 2018 tweet about "funding secured for Tesla." Eventually, the billionaire reached an agreement with the regulator and paid a $20 million fine, although he is still fighting with a court-appointed "tweet nanny" who must approve some of his Tesla-related tweets.

Source: Engadget

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