The Biden Administration officials are discussing whether the United States should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national review including the deal for Twitter inc and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, according to reports.
The SpaceX chief in recent times has taken to twitter to announce proposals to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, and also said SpaceX cannot indefinitely fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine. He later backed down and said he would continue to bear the costs of the service.
Sources say, the discussions to review Musk’s ventures are at an early stage, adding that officials in the U.S. government are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures.
One possibility is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is under the U.S. Department of Treasury, to review Musk’s ventures.
An element of Musk’s $44 billion Twitter deal which could trigger a CFIUS review is the presence of foreign investors in Musk’s consortium.
The group includes Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Binance, which was founded in Shanghai.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury Department said CFIUS does not publicly comment on transactions that it may or may not be reviewing.
Musk had said he would walk away from the deal to buy Twitter in May alleging the company understated the number of bot and spam accounts on the social media platform, which started a series of lawsuits between the two parties.
Earlier this month, Musk reversed course and said he will proceed with the deal on the original terms.
Musk lawyers have accused US regulators of ‘micro-management’ but experts call the move an ‘exercise in legal silliness’
The lawyers said the 2018 consent decree resolving SEC securities fraud charges should not allow “roving and unbounded investigations” into the Tesla CEO, while impeding his constitutional right to free speech.
Tesla has accused the American Securities and Exchange Commission of harassment.