Twitter says in court filing that Elon Musk is under federal investigation

WILmington, Dell, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Federal authorities are investigating Elon Musk over his conduct in a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. (TWTR.N)The social media company said in a court filing released Thursday.

While the file said it was under investigation, it did not say what the exact focus of the investigations and what federal authorities are conducting.

Tesla’s lawyers said Twitter, which sued Musk in July to force him to terminate the deal (TSLA.O) The CEO claimed “the privilege of investigation” when he refused to hand over the documents he requested.

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In late September, Musk’s lawyers filed a “record of privileges” to determine which documents should be withheld, Twitter said. The registry noted drafts of a May 13 email to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a slide presentation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The court filing, which asked a Delaware judge to order Musk’s lawyers to file the documents, was filed on October 6 — the same day the judge halted litigation between the two sides after Musk reversed course and said he would go ahead with a deal.

“This ‘hide the ball’ game must end,” the company said in the court filing.

Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, told Reuters the court filing on Twitter was a “misdirection.” Twitter declined to comment on Spiro’s response and Reuters inquiries about his understanding of any investigation into Musk.

The Securities and Exchange Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment and the Federal Trade Commission declined to comment.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission questioned Musk’s comments about the Twitter acquisition. In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Musk if it was too late to disclose his 9% stake in Twitter and why it indicated he intended to be a passive contributor. Musk later re-disclosed to indicate that he is an active investor.

In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Musk in a letter whether he should amend his public filing to reflect his intent to suspend or abandon the deal.

The Information, a tech news site, reported in April that the FTC was examining whether Musk had failed to comply with antitrust reporting requirements because he amassed his Twitter stake.

Twitter said in June that the acquisition deal with Musk had cleared an antitrust waiting period for review by the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice. Read more

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Additional reporting by Tom Hales in Wilmington, Delaware, Sheila Dang in Dallas, Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Chris Reese and Edwina Gibbs

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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