San Francisco: Billionaire businessman Elon Musk appeared in court to hear a case related to a ‘misleading’ tweet made in connection with the purchase of his electric vehicle company Tesla. The matter pertains to two tweets made by Musk on August 7, 2018. Musk had said in both tweets that he had arranged enough finance to buy Tesla.
However, the deal never materialized. Subsequently, Tesla’s stock holders sued Musk, saying that his tweets caused them huge losses. Musk, dressed in a black suit, appeared in a San Francisco civil court. His attorney requested the case be transferred to Tesla’s headquarters in Texas, which was turned down by the court. A nine-judge jury will decide whether the tweets substantially harmed Tesla shareholders over a ten-day period.
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In this case, Musk has admitted that the purchase he had planned could not materialize. Musk tweeted that he had ‘raised money’ for $72 billion to buy Tesla. At that time Tesla was struggling with production problems. After this, he had tweeted another that a deal in this regard is going to be done soon, whereas no such deal has happened.
Musk, who bought Twitter last year for $44 billion, told the court on Friday that tweeting was the “most democratic way” to communicate with investors. “I care a lot for retail investors,” he said in response to a question asked by shareholder advocate Nicolas Porritt.
However, Musk also said that due to the set limit of words on Twitter, the matter cannot be said in detail on this platform. Federal court judges have already determined that both of Musk’s tweets were false. Now during the hearing, the jury will decide whether Musk intentionally defrauded investors and whether it caused them loss. (agency)