Elon Musk ordered to testify in SEO probe over Twitter takeover

A US judge has ordered Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to testify in an SEC investigation into his 2022 Twitter takeover, according to a recent court document. The SEC is examining if Musk, or anyone affiliated, engaged in securities fraud while Musk was acquiring Twitter shares and establishing a significant presence before his eventual takeover of the platform.

Musk finalized the Twitter acquisition in October 2022, valuing the transaction at around $44 billion, subsequently renaming it X. In the February 10, 2024, ruling, Federal Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler stated that despite Musk and his attorneys claiming the SEC’s subpoena was overly intrusive, the agency was acting within its legal boundaries to request pertinent data for the inquiry.

The SEC and Musk are required to agree upon a time and place for his deposition within a week. Neither Musk, his lawyer Alex Spiro, nor the SEC have commented on the order. Musk has been known to confront and question the power of federal regulatory bodies actively.

For instance, he has petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn a settlement previously reached with the SEC, which mandated pre-approval of his tweets regarding Tesla by a designated overseer, arguing it infringes on his freedom of speech. Additionally, Musk’s SpaceX initiated legal action against the National Labor Relations Board, challenging the constitutionality of the agency’s structure following a complaint about the wrongful termination of employees critical of Musk. This lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Texas’s US District Court, parallels another case against the NLRB by a former Starbucks employee, aiming to halt the board’s complaint against SpaceX.