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SEC and Elon Musk reach agreement over Twitter activity

Elon Musk. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk reached an agreement on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding his behavior on Twitter, according to an amended filing in U.S. District Court.

Why it matters: The agreement with securities regulators removes, for now, one headache facing the electric automaker that’s in the midst of a tumultuous stretch and just reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday.

The backdrop: Last August, Musk took to the social platform, tweeting he had "funding secured," to take Tesla private at $420 a share. In response, the SEC sued Musk, alleging his claims on Twitter were false.

The suit was settled last September, but the SEC sued Tesla's CEO a second time for allegedly violating the terms regarding his Twitter activities of the original agreement. Musk agreed to pay a civil penalty for at least 3 years.

One big question: Whether the notoriously shoot-from-the-hip Musk, who often uses Twitter to communicate Tesla news, will actually abide by the updated terms of his requirements for vetting his communications. He has expressed disdain for the SEC in the past.

Go deeper: Elon Musk to pay $20 million, step down as Tesla chair in SEC settlement