Elon Musk reaches new agreement with SEC over his social media abuses

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Tesla shares climbed as much as 1.6 per cent to US$238.88 at 6:10 p.m.in NY.

The original settlement made previous year between the two sides was broader than what is being announced tonight in that it required Musk to run any tweet with information "material" to the internal business workings of Tesla by a team of lawyers for pre-approval before it could be sent out. "The consequences of thumbing his nose at the SEC could have been far worse for him and the company".

In addition to RHD order pages for the Model 3 going live, Tesla has also extended its current referral program from 1,500km of free Supercharging for anyone using a referral code when purchasing any Tesla vehicle to 7,500km.

On Wednesday, Tesla posted a worse-than-expected loss of $702 million for the March quarter.

But rather than immediately punishing Musk, Nathan earlier this month ordered the parties to go back to the negotiating table.

The SEC sued Musk past year after he tweeted on August 7 that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share. "Any attempt by Musk to circumvent the process will be much more easily policed", said Mike Diamond, a professor of securities law at Santa Clara University. Musk's privatization plan was at best in an early stage and financing was not in place. Part of that settlement (which also included $40 million in fines) was that Musk's tweets would be monitored, and he'd have to get approval if they included any "material" information about his company that would affect trading. If the settlement is approved by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, his tweets regarding his company will be vetted by legal counsel prior to going live. After an investigation, the regulator sued, saying Musk had misled investors. The commission asked that Musk be held in contempt of court for that violation.

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The two sides filed late Friday to amend the settlement agreement reached a year ago over the "funding secured" debacle, which originally prompted the SEC to attempt to install oversight over Musk's tweets, The Verge reported. They include statements about Tesla's financial condition, proposed or potential deals, production numbers, performance projections, financing or lending arrangements and Musk's own transactions in the company's securities.

The company's board of directors also has the right to approve additional topics that, in their opinion, do not violate the interests of shareholders. This is just in a more clear and easily enforceable language.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday denied the request of the Tesla Inc chief executive officer to dismiss Vernon Unsworth's defamation complaint.

At the court hearing on April 4, the judge refused to make a decision on contempt of court and urged the SEC and Musk to find a compromise.

Musk tweeted on Friday that the United Kingdom configurator page for the Model 3 would be live this week in the United Kingdom, with other right hand drive markets - including Australia - following shortly thereafter.

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