US securities law stipulates that upon acquisition of 5% ownership in a publicly traded by a single holder requires that the holder must inform its shareholders when this takes place.
Reporting now suggests that Elon Musk recently violated this law by slowly buying up Twitter stock, and delaying the announcement until after he had acquired 9.2% ownership of the company.
When his holding was finally revealed, share prices spiked 25%, suggesting that by delaying the announcement far past the 5% rule as he slowly bought up stock, Musk was able to buy shares far below market value.
The Washington Post suggested that that difference in share prices means that Musk may have saved an estimated $150 million USD on his buyout.
Musk already has a troubled relationship with the SEC, having been accused of using the same platform, Twitter, to commit securities fraud and manipulate stock prices in the past, which he settled by giving his attorney the power to censor his tweets.
Whether or not he faces penalties for his actions, he appears to be already damaging the company’s brand with his erratic behavior, of no help to Twitter which has been at the heart of significant controversy for years since its tempestuous but extremely profitable relationship with Trump.