Elon Musk asked a federal judge on Thursday not to force him to testify in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s probe into his $44 billion takeover of social media site Twitter.
Musk filed the objections in San Francisco federal court, where the SEC sued him on Oct. 5 to make him testify for the probe, which it launched in April 2022. The SEC’s subpoena exceeds the agency’s investigative authority, is overly burdensome and seeks “irrelevant evidence”, Musk’s lawyers said in the filing.
The SEC has said it was investigating Musk’s 2022 purchases of Twitter stock and his statements and SEC filings relating to Twitter — which Musk subsequently renamed X — and that Musk had refused to attend a September interview for the probe.
Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk, has called the investigation “misguided.”
On Thursday, Spiro and Musk’s other lawyers said in the filing: “The SEC’s pursuit of Mr. Musk has crossed the line into harassment”.
The SEC did not respond immediately to requests for comment. The agency has previously said it is well within its authority to seek additional testimony from Musk and that it has received new documents in the investigation since last interviewing him.
On April 4, 2022, Musk disclosed he had acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter. It was 11 days after the SEC’s deadline for such disclosures. Musk initially said he planned to be a passive stakeholder, meaning he did not plan to take over the company.
Later that month, he announced plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion. He subsequently tried to get out of the deal, alleging Twitter was not disclosing the full extent of bot activity on its platform.
After being sued to complete the deal, Musk closed his acquisition of Twitter in late October 2022.
Musk has given the SEC documents relating to the probe and provided testimony in July last year via video conference, the SEC said in a court filing. But SEC attorneys said they have more questions for Musk after seeing the documents.
The SEC has issued 32 subpoenas in the investigation and has taken testimony from Musk and at least three other individuals seven times, Spiro said in a second filing. Musk alone has received five subpoenas for documents and another three for testimony, he said.
The SEC has spent 18 months “devoting its formidable resources to investigating Mr. Musk over an allegedly untimely filing,” the court filings said. “This is just the latest chapter in a more-than-five-year saga of agency harassment against Mr. Musk and related entities.”
The court battle is the latest flare up in the acrimonious relationship between the US market regulator and Musk, the world’s wealthiest person.
The SEC sued Musk in 2018 over his posts on social media saying he had “funding secured” to take electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc private. Musk settled, but the regulator sued him again in 2019 alleging he had violated the terms of the agreement.
Musk has meanwhile accused the agency of mounting “endless” investigations into him and Tesla.
He said he will ask the US Supreme Court to review the legality of his SEC settlement, which requires him to vet some of his social media posts with a Tesla lawyer.
ByteDance to restructure Nuverse in retreat from gaming business
TikTok maker ByteDance plans to wind down its Nuverse gaming brand and retreat from mainstream video games, four people familiar with the matter said.
ByteDance told Reuters it had decided to restructure its gaming business after a review, without giving further details.
“We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to centre on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business,” the spokesperson said.
The sources said ByteDance will tell employees on Monday to stop working on unreleased games by December, and that it will look for ways to divest from titles already launched.
The decision is likely to impact hundreds of employees, some of whom learnt about the move at the weekend, the people said.
The Chinese technology firm has no plan to return to the $185 billion global video games market, they added, declining to be identified as the information was not public.
Casual gaming brand Ohayoo, whose games feature on Douyin – TikTok’s sister app in China – will not be affected, and neither will casual games that run on TikTok, one of the people said.
Reuters reported this month that ByteDance had started seeking buyers for game-developing subsidiary Moonton Technology. It also overhauled its virtual reality company Pico, cutting much of its content team.
ByteDance’s 2019 creation of Nuverse was widely seen as a major push into global gaming and a strategic element of its competition with domestic rival Tencent Holdings, the world’s biggest gaming company.
But Nuverse’s performance has been patchy. Its best-known game is “Marvel Snap”, an online card game that amassed a cult following but was not a commercial hit.
Other titles include action games “One Piece: The Voyage” and “Crystal of Atland”.
Nuverse came into focus again in 2021 when ByteDance formalised its status as one of its six business units under a broader structural overhaul.
To build up production capacity, Nuverse acquired external studios including C4games in 2021.
Four reasons for not missing out on ChatGPT 3 mobile app
The launch of ChatGPT-3 took the world by storm, not only becoming a helping hand for many but also igniting a field of competition among leading tech giants
Building on its web version, OpenAI has also made ChatGPT 3 available on mobile as an app. It is designed to mimic human-like conversation, providing responses that are not just accurate but contextually relevant. Here are some details about the app that you should not miss;
1. Simple User Interface
The developers have put in detailed effort to ensure that the app is not just powerful, but also user-friendly and accessible. With a clean, intuitive design, it caters to both tech-savvy users and those new to AI technology. Additionally, the app includes accessibility features, making it a tool that is truly for everyone.
2. Multi-Language Support
To make it accessible to a maximum number of people, ChatGPT 3 can converse in multiple languages. To opt for a different language, click on the three dots beside your profile icon and choose Main Language from the menu. Choose the desired language and continue searching.
3. Voice Interaction
To enhance usability, the app includes voice-to-text and text-to-voice features, allowing users to have conversations with ChatGPT-3 just like they would with a virtual assistant.
4. Regular Updates and Improvements
Continuous updates based on user feedback and technological advancements keep the app at the forefront of AI capabilities, constantly enhancing its features and usability.
Pixel 8 Pro owners complain about display bumps
Google admits the Pixel 8 Pro odd bump complaints by users is a real issue in the phone series.
“Pixel 8 phones have a new display. When the screen is turned off, not in use and in specific lighting conditions, some users may see impressions from components in the device that look like small bumps. There is no functional impact to Pixel 8 performance or durability,” a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google.
Users are still finding it odd to see uneveness in their screen displays, though it is only visible in specific lighting conditions and when the display is turned off. Many are also worried over the phone’s one-year warranty, concerned that the uneven screen issue might get worse over time.
Google hasn’t yet indicated if it intends to replace the devices exihibiting the issue.
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