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Twitter’s filing citing federal investigation on Elon Musk seems to be old news

Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, news emerged that Twitter’s legal team had written in a court filing that Elon Musk is being investigated by federal authorities in relation to his attempted acquisition of the social media company. While the news reports hinted that the CEO is under what could be a new federal investigation, Twitter’s filing was actually referencing an SEC query from way back in Spring. 

“Elon Musk is presently under investigation by federal authorities for his conduct in connection with the acquisition of Twitter,” wrote attorneys for Potter Anderson Corroon LLP in the filing. Twitter’s legal team also asked the court for access to documents that Musk had given to authorities.

Reports of Twitter’s filing promptly spread through mainstream media outlets such as Bloomberg News. Musk’s legal team, for their part, responded by stating that “It’s actually Twitter’s executives that are under federal investigation.” Musk lawyer Alex Spiro also noted that the letter was a “misdirection by Twitter.” 

While Twitter officials denied that the company is under investigation by federal authorities, Spiro does seem to make a valid point. Twitter’s court filing, after all, was referencing documents from several months ago, yet the news reports which referenced the social media company’s filing seemed to suggest that Musk was facing a fresh investigation. 

Bloomberg News‘ coverage was a good example of this. Screenshots shared online showed that the publication’s first reports on the topic carried the headline “Musk Investigated by Authorities Over Deal, Twitter Says,” but the article was later updated with a different headline and body, “Twitter Seeks Documents Related to Federal Investigation of Musk.”  

Interestingly enough, Twitter was questioned by the SEC earlier this year over its filings. The SEC’s questions followed the company’s admission that it had overestimated the number of its monetizable accounts from the first quarter of 2019 through the end of last year. Twitter, however, argued that even if it overestimated its accounts, the error had no impact on its financial statements. 

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Twitter’s filing citing federal investigation on Elon Musk seems to be old news
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