Elon Musk under Investigation by Biden's SEC over Twitter Purchase
Securities and Exchange Commission launches probe into billionaire
Joe Biden's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into Elon Musk over his purchase of Twitter.
The news comes shortly after Musk announced that he plans to "reverse the permanent ban" of President Donald Trump once he takes over.
The SEC has reportedly opened an investigation into Musk’s business dealings surrounding his recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Journal reported.
“The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.”
Musk’s April 4 disclosure filing was at least 10 days late, according to the report.
The late filing is believed to have saved him more than $140 million because share prices could have been higher if the public knew about his ownership of 5% of the company.
“The case is easy. It’s straightforward,” Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, said.
“But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question.”
The report noted that a lawsuit against Musk from the SEC would likely not stop him from taking over Twitter since the company’s board of directors unanimously approved to be acquired by Musk and the SEC may lack the power to do so.
Musk’s purchase of Twitter is also reportedly being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Musk said this week that he will reverse Twitter’s permanent ban on former President Donald Trump if and when the sale is finalized.
“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the county, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, adding that the decision was “morally bad.”
“That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say,” Musk said.
“If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension, or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.”
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.
Musk indicated that action could be taken against an account if there were tweets that violated platform policy, which he said: “Should be either deleted or made invisible, and a suspension—a temporary suspension—is appropriate, but not a permanent ban.”
Musk said that permanent bans “should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts.”