Elon Musk sells nearly $4 billion in Tesla stock

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Tesla chief Elon Musk sold nearly $4 billion worth of shares in the electric car company, SEC filings showed Tuesday, more than a week after he closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission documents show Musk, who financed much of his Twitter purchase with Tesla stock, sold more than 19 million shares worth in excess of $3.9 billion.

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Musk took control of Twitter and fired its top executives in late October after a drawn out back-and forth between the world’s richest person and the influential social media company.

He tried to step back from the Twitter deal soon after his unsolicited offer was accepted in April, and said in July he was canceling the contract because he was misled by Twitter over the number of fake “bot” accounts -- allegations rejected by the company.

After Musk sought to terminate the sale, Twitter filed a lawsuit to hold the entrepreneur to the deal. But with a trial looming, he capitulated and revived his takeover plan.

Musk’s decision to pull Twitter off the stock market has allowed him to make major changes quickly, but it also took the company more heavily into debt, a risky choice for a money-losing business.

In early November, he announced an $8 per month charge to verify users’ accounts, arguing the plan would solve the platform’s issues with bots and trolls while creating a new revenue stream for the company.

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