Billionaire Musk likely to 'double down' on tweets after court victory
By Jody Godoy and Jonathan Stempel
Feb 3 (Reuters) -Elon Musk may become even more emboldened in his Twitter useafter a jury cleared the billionaire Tesla Inc TSLA.O chief executive over his missive that he had "funding secured" to take his electric car company private.
A San Francisco jury took just two hours to unanimously find the world's second-richest person not liable for having allegedly tweeted fraudulently in August 2018 about a possible Tesla buyout.
Musk is likely to "double down" on his communication tactics after the verdict, said Minor Myers, a professor of corporate law at the University of Connecticut.
"This is only going to embolden him to act as he sees fit," Myers said.
Musk ultimately abandoned his effort to take Tesla private, but told jurors early in the three-week trial that he had believed what he wrote in tweets.
Karen Woody, an associate professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, said she thought the case was "rock-solid" against Musk and she was shocked at the verdict.
"He pushed the boundaries, and won," she said. "I expect Elon is going to write anything he wants,"
Musk himself thanked the jury on Twitter -- which he bought in October for $44 billion.
"Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed," he wrote.
The Tesla shareholders who sued Musk had sought billions of dollars in damages.
Musk's raw tweeting style has made him a hero for many, and burnished the Tesla brand.
He fought hard against accusations that he had not told the truth, with his lawyer, Alex Spiro, telling the jury that the "funding secured" tweet was only technically inaccurate.
"Who cares about bad word choice?" Spiro said during closing arguments.
The tweets led to Musk and Tesla paying $40 million to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil charges under a consent agreement that Musk has fought unsuccessfully to lift.
"He doesn't want to play by SEC rules as the SEC understands them, and the SEC doesn't want to be perceived as backing down," said Adam Pritchard, a University of Michigan law professor. "I expect them to continue having their difficulties."
Still, many analysts said Musk, who has tweeted more than 22,000 times and has about 128 million Twitter followers, has no reason to slow down now.
"Many people, when confronted by a lawsuit of this type would have dialed back tweeting," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners. "But that wasn't the case in the Twitter deal, was it?
"Musk lives by his own rules, or so it seems," Forrest said.
Additional reporting by Nivedita Balu; writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Leslie Adler
면책조항: XM Group 회사는 체결 전용 서비스와 온라인 거래 플랫폼에 대한 접근을 제공하여, 개인이 웹사이트에서 또는 웹사이트를 통해 이용 가능한 콘텐츠를 보거나 사용할 수 있도록 허용합니다. 이에 대해 변경하거나 확장할 의도는 없습니다. 이러한 접근 및 사용에는 다음 사항이 항상 적용됩니다: (i) 이용 약관, (ii) 위험 경고, (iii) 완전 면책조항. 따라서, 이러한 콘텐츠는 일반적인 정보에 불과합니다. 특히, 온라인 거래 플랫폼의 콘텐츠는 금융 시장에서의 거래에 대한 권유나 제안이 아닙니다. 금융 시장에서의 거래는 자본에 상당한 위험을 수반합니다.
온라인 거래 플랫폼에 공개된 모든 자료는 교육/정보 목적으로만 제공되며, 금융, 투자세 또는 거래 조언 및 권고, 거래 가격 기록, 금융 상품 또는 원치 않는 금융 프로모션의 거래 제안 또는 권유를 포함하지 않으며, 포함해서도 안됩니다.
이 웹사이트에 포함된 모든 의견, 뉴스, 리서치, 분석, 가격, 기타 정보 또는 제3자 사이트에 대한 링크와 같이 XM이 준비하는 콘텐츠 뿐만 아니라, 제3자 콘텐츠는 일반 시장 논평으로서 "현재" 기준으로 제공되며, 투자 조언으로 여겨지지 않습니다. 모든 콘텐츠가 투자 리서치로 해석되는 경우, 투자 리서치의 독립성을 촉진하기 위해 고안된 법적 요건에 따라 콘텐츠가 의도되지 않았으며, 준비되지 않았다는 점을 인지하고 동의해야 합니다. 따라서, 관련 법률 및 규정에 따른 마케팅 커뮤니케이션이라고 간주됩니다. 여기에서 접근할 수 있는 앞서 언급한 정보에 대한 비독립 투자 리서치 및 위험 경고 알림을 읽고, 이해하시기 바랍니다.