Elon Musk has deleted a tweet in which he alluded to Tesla potentially becoming the world’s biggest company “in just a few months.”
The SEC might be watching…
Musk’s use of Twitter has been the subject of scrutiny from financial authorities for a while now.
Most famously, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Musk over his infamous “funding secured” tweet regarding his failed attempt to take Tesla private in 2018.
The SEC judged that Musk exaggerated when he said that the funding was “secured.” Tesla and Musk reached a settlement with the SEC.
As part of the settlement, Musk agreed to step down from his role as chairman of the board, and both Tesla and Musk had to each pay $20 million fines.
The CEO presumably didn’t want Tesla to have to pay for his issue with the SEC, and while he couldn’t directly pay for Tesla’s part of the fine, he decided to buy $20 million worth of shares from Tesla.
That way, he sort of indirectly ended up paying for Tesla’s fine – though he also ended up with ~71,000 additional Tesla shares in the process.
As we previously reported, Musk ended up actually making money from the settlement due to Tesla’s stock price surging last year.
The SEC also asked Tesla to supervise Musk’s use of Twitter in order for him to not share material information that could influence the market.
Now the situation is arising again as Musk tweeted something that could fall in that category.
In our Slack newsroom on Electrek, we have an automated feed of Musk’s tweets set up. Every now and then, in between all the memes he tweets, there are newsworthy items.
Today we woke up to a series of tweets, and the last one was deleted:
In regards to the impact of Tesla’s release of Full Self-Driving on the automaker’s valuation, Musk said that there’s a more than 0% chance of Tesla becoming the biggest company in the world.
This is something that he said before and is not material to Tesla’s valuation.
However, someone with the Twitter handle @ToonLa24 responded that they “like the direction of that arrow” in reference to the “more than” sign that Musk used, and the CEO surprisingly responded with “probably within a few months.”
Many people interpreted the tweet as Musk saying that Tesla could become the biggest company in the world within a few months, but that’s not clear.
The CEO quickly deleted the tweet under which many people commented that it could be material information and against the SEC order.
Personally, I don’t see a problem here.
Musk believing that Tesla could become the biggest company in the world if it solves self-driving is not material, it’s obvious.
I would even venture to say that most people agree that if Tesla suddenly gets its vision-based self-driving system using its current hardware, which is already in hundreds of thousands of cars approved by regulators, it would likely unlock hundreds of billions in value.
The question is more whether or not Tesla can achieve that feat and on what timeline.
Musk has already said that it would happen this year, and therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla becomes the biggest company in the world this year.
But he has been wrong about that timeline before, and plenty of people have doubts about it ever happening.
Either way, I don’t see the SEC going after this one since it didn’t seem to have any impact on Tesla’s stock anyway.
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