"I'm considering taking Tesla public for $420 (per share). Funding secured," the tech entrepreneur wrote in August 2018. He then detailed his intentions in other short messages.
This caused a great deal of excitement among investors and sharp fluctuations in the price of Tesla shares. Musk later backed down. It became clear that the financing was anything but secured. Investors subsequently sued Musk. They accuse him of "artificially manipulating" the price of Tesla shares with the aim of hurting all investors who had bet on a falling share price.
The tweet in question also got Musk in trouble with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of an agreement, Musk had to give up the chairmanship of the Tesla board of directors, pay a fine of $ 20 million (just under 19 million euros today) and have all tweets about Tesla approved by a lawyer. Musk later tried in vain to have this agreement annulled.
The investor-led civil case against Musk has now begun with jury selection. Musk himself is expected to testify at the three-week trial.
Federal Judge Edward Chen last week denied a request by Musk's attorneys to move the trial to Texas. The lawyers had justified their request by saying that public opinion in San Francisco was against him because of Musk's purchase of Twitter and the subsequent wave of layoffs at the online service. That's why the multi-billionaire in the city can't expect a fair trial. However, Judge Chen ruled that an impartial jury could be assembled.
Musk bought and delisted Twitter for $44 billion in October. Chaotic days and weeks followed: Musk fired top Twitter management and around half of the workforce, unlocked blocked accounts such as that of former US President Donald Trump and repeatedly changed course in the realignment of the platform, about which he partly shared Twitter -Let users vote.
Major advertisers have frozen their budgets on Twitter. They fear that under Musk's leadership, hate speech and misinformation could skyrocket on Twitter.