Musk's delay in disclosing Twitter stake triggers probe: WSJ

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Musk disclosed a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter on April 4, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Elon Musk's delayed disclosure of his sizeable stake in Twitter last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (May 11), citing people familiar with the matter.

The SEC and the Tesla top boss did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Musk disclosed a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter to the SEC on April 4, a delay of at least 10 days since surpassing the 5 per cent threshold for revealing a shareholding, the report said.

An investor who crosses a 5 per cent stake must file a form with the SEC within 10 days. It serves as an early sign to stakeholders that a big investor could seek to control the company.

Apart from the delay, Musk’s April 4 filing also characterised his stake as passive, meaning he did not plan to take over Twitter or influence its management or business.

The next day, however, he was offered a position on Twitter’s board, and a couple of weeks later, he clinched a US$44 billion (S$61 billion) deal to buy the company.

Musk, known for his candid Twitter posts, has a long history of skirmishes with the SEC.

Most recently, a US judge slammed him for trying to escape a settlement with the SEC requiring oversight of his Tesla tweets.

In April, the Information reported that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Musk violated a law that requires companies and people to report certain large transactions to antitrust-enforcement agencies.

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