Special Offer: Subscribe today for a free ticket ($499 value) to The Future of Startups. Redeem Now
Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg
News Analysis
Markets Autonomous Vehicles

What SEC’s Musk Lawsuit Means for Tesla

Photo: Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make an example of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and show that when a CEO speaks about a big deal, he ought to mean what he says. But the SEC’s real aim may be to send a message to Tesla’s board that it should exert better control over Mr. Musk—or at least impose adult supervision in Tesla’s executive ranks.

In the civil lawsuit filed earlier Thursday, the SEC alleges Mr. Musk committed securities fraud and hurt Tesla investors by making false or reckless public statements that had a material impact on the stock—specifically, for the way he unveiled his possible plan to take Tesla private on Aug. 7, via Twitter, saying he had “secured” funding for a deal. The agency’s case seems strong on its face, though Mr. Musk said in a statement that the suit was “unjustified” and “the facts will show I never compromised” his integrity.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Clubhouse Gets Investment Interest at $1 Billion Valuation
Clubhouse Co-Founder and CEO Paul Davison. Photo: Bloomberg
The race to invest in social audio app Clubhouse is on again. Venture capital firms have approached the startup’s founders in recent weeks about leading its potential next round of funding at a roughly $1 billion valuation, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions. Investors also have tried to buy Clubhouse shares from existing shareholders at an implied valuation of $1...
Latest Briefs
 
Report: Databricks Raising New Round at $27 Billion Valuation
Microsoft, SAP Get Cozier With Teams Integration
Antitrust Scholar Khan in the Running for FTC Post
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Entertainment
Inside Nancy Dubuc’s Quest to Rehabilitate Vice
When television veteran Nancy Dubuc took over as CEO of Vice Media in the spring of 2018, cash was so tight that company executives were debating whether they should cancel the Friday morning ritual of free donuts and bagels for staff.
Andreessen Horowitz co-founders Marc Andreessen (left) and Ben Horowitz. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Venture Capital
Andreessen Horowitz Looks to Launch Opinion Publication as Its Media Ambition Grows
Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, which once courted attention from the news media, is ramping up its own media efforts.
Org Charts Startups Markets
The People With Power at Robinhood
Last year, as Robinhood’s trading activity boomed and legal problems mounted, the $11.7 billion startup shook up the ranks of its senior staff.
Zach Perret, CEO and co-founder of Plaid, spoke during the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City last year. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Plaid Shareholders Field Offers at $15 Billion After Merger Collapse
Normally CEOs that opt to sell their companies aren’t happy when the government blocks the deal over antitrust concerns.
The Takeaway Media/Telecom Google
Big Tech and Big Media Have Made Up: Now What? Inside the New Era in the Tech and Media Wars
Despite all the knives pointed at big tech right now, some longtime antagonists to the tech industry seem to be taking a back seat in the fights.
Rioters breached barricades to enter the U.S. Capitol  on Jan. 6. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive Travel Policy
Airbnb Used Facebook and Twitter to Weed Out Hate Groups
For the past few years, a specialized team of about half a dozen employees within Airbnb has been assigned an urgent task: preventing white nationalists and other potentially dangerous fringe groups from renting homes on the site.