Musk found not liable over 'funding secured' tweet
STORY: A U.S. jury on Friday (February 3) found Tesla CEO Elon Musk and company were not liable for misleading investors.
That's in relation to Musk tweeting in 2018 that he had "funding secured" to take the electric car company private.
Tesla shareholders had been claiming billions in damages. Here's one of their lawyers, Adam Apton, after the verdict was read out.
“We’re disappointed. We’re examining options, and yeah. Thank you guys.”
The plaintiffs claimed Musk had misled them when he tweeted on August 7, 2018, that he was considering taking the company private at $420 per share.
That was a premium of about 23% above the previous day's close.
He also said he had "funding secured".
Later that day Musk, now also Twitter's CEO, had tweeted "investor support is confirmed". Plaintiffs claimed that was a lie.
Tesla's stock price soared after the tweets, and then fell again after August 17, as it became clear the buyout would not happen.
An economist hired by shareholders had calculated investor losses as high as $12 billion.
Lawyers for the investors argued that Musk was not above the law and should be held liable for the tweets.
But Musk's lawyer had countered that though the "funding secured" tweet was "technically inaccurate" investors only cared that Musk was considering a buyout.
"Just because it's a bad tweet doesn't make it fraud," he said during closing arguments.
The jury came back with an unanimous verdict in Musk's favour roughly two hours after beginning deliberations.
Shareholders of Tesla rose 1.6% in after hours trading following the verdict.
Musk was not present in court but tweeted that he was "deeply appreciative" and that the "wisdom of the people had prevailed".