Billionaire Elon Musk is focused on the U.S. Supreme Court just days after Twitter’s board of directors accepted his buyout offer.
Reports on Monday noted that the SpaceX and Tesla founder and CEO has signed on to an amicus brief that could bar the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing gag orders which serve to prevent people who settle with the agency without admitting fault from discussing those cases.
“He signed a supporting petition filed by Barry Romeril, a former chief financial officer for Xerox, asking the Supreme Court to negate a 2003 deal in which he agreed to always stay silent about the fraud case against him,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Romeril had been one of six executives at Xerox who settled allegations of inflating the company’s earnings by $1.4 million in the late 1990s. As part of his deal with the federal regulators, Romeril had agreed not to deny the allegations against him and was permanently barred from serving as an officer of a public company,” the report continued.
“He has since argued to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the requirement he stays silent about the case violates his First Amendment right and no act of Congress authorizes such a sweeping restriction on freedom of speech. The appeals court, however, disagreed, with Judge Denny Chin writing last year that Romeril waived his right to deny the allegations when he agreed to the settlement,” the Daily Mail added.
“Now, Romeril is once again appealing the case – this time to the Supreme Court with the help of other business executives like Musk, who has also found himself in the SEC’s crosshairs following a 2018 agreement that censored what he could tweet,” the report noted further.
The filing comes after Musk managed to successfully lodge a buyout offer with one of the world’s biggest platforms.
But the deal isn’t done just yet; while Twitter agreed on Monday to accept Musk’s offer to acquire the company, it is possible the deal won’t go through.
A Securities and Exchange Commission filing related to the purchase shows Musk is on the hook to pay a $1 billion termination fee should the deal fail.
In one instance, the filing states that if the deal is not finalized on or before October 24, 2022, the SEC filing stipulates that Twitter “may terminate the Merger Agreement.”
Also, it could also fall through if Twitter stockholders “fail to adopt the Merger Agreement.”