Elon Musk sued by SEC to compel him to testify over Twitter deal

Elon Musk is being sued by securities regulators in connection with his $44 billion deal for Twitter Inc., a new wrinkle for the billionaire entrepreneur’s takeover of the social-media company last year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk in San Francisco federal court Thursday to get him to testify in the agency’s investigation into the deal, as Musk has failed to appear for testimony, the SEC said in a filing.

The subpoena is related to “an ongoing investigation” into potential violations of securities laws in connection with Musk’s purchases of Twitter stock and his statements relating to the company, the SEC said. Musk has since renamed the company X.

“The SEC has already taken Mr. Musk’s testimony multiple times in this misguided investigation,” Musk’s private lawyer Alex Spiro said in emailed comments to MarketWatch. “Enough is enough.” 

The SEC “seeks Musk’s testimony to obtain information not already in the SEC’s possession that is relevant to its legitimate and lawful investigation,” the agency said.

Also see: Elon Musk’s X drops headlines from articles, as new report details its bleeding ad revenue

According to the filing, Musk failed to appear for testimony despite having agreed to do so and after being served with a subpoena in May.

Musk also apparently raised no objections to the testimony until two days before the mutually agreed September date, but then notified the SEC he wouldn’t show.

Musk “attempted to justify his refusal to comply with the subpoena by raising, for the first time, several spurious objections,” the agency said.

That included objecting to San Francisco “as an appropriate testimony location,” according to the suit.

SEC staff “attempted to negotiate in good faith with Musk to find an alternative date and location for his testimony,” including offering to take testimony in Texas, and the agency proposed “multiple dates” in October and November.

“These good-faith efforts were met with Musk’s blanket refusal to appear for testimony,” the lawsuit said.

Musk has not appeared for testimony in this investigation since July 2022, when he testified in two separate half-day sessions, the SEC said.

“Since that time, the SEC has received thousands of new documents from various parties,” including “hundreds of documents” by Musk and not had the opportunity to question Musk regarding, among other things, the information contained in those documents,” the agency said.

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