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Despite Twitter purchase, judge says Musk’s SEC deal remains in place

Whether or not Tesla (NASDAQ:) CEO Elon Musk owns the site, a federal judge on Wednesday denied Musk’s request to end a 2018 deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that required that his Tesla-related tweets be reviewed and pre-approved.

“Musk can’t now seek to retract the deal he knowingly and willingly entered into simply lamenting that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time, but now – once the specter of the litigation is now a distant memory and that his company has become, in his estimation, almost invincible – wishes he did not have, ”wrote the judge.

This is the second request in as many months that has been refused. Last month, Musk asked the courts to end SEC oversight, saying it infringed on his First Amendment rights. The request was also denied.

The latest move follows Musk’s $44 billion bid for Twitter Inc. . (NYSE:), which the social media company’s board of directors accepted on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman in Manhattan sided with the SEC on Wednesday, saying in a written opinion that Musk’s claim that regulators used the consent decree to harass him and launch investigations into his speech is “without foundation, and, in this case, particularly ironic.”

Twitter traded at $49.60/share, below Musk’s $54.20 offer price, suggesting the market sees risk the deal could fall apart.

By Michael Elkin