Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Is Just Another SEC Violation

Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has repeatedly made headlines for everything from smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast to calling a British cave diver a “pedo guy” after he criticized Musk’s efforts to rescue 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave in June 2018. 

On Thursday, Musk announced a bid to take Twitter private at $54.20 a share in a move he says is designed to ensure the social media giant is supporting “free speech around the globe.”

Musk took a 9.2% stake in Twitter earlier this month, making him the company’s largest shareholder, but the Tesla CEO says he might reconsider that position if this week’s takeover bid isn’t accepted.

Musk was charged with securities fraud for his “misleading tweets” in September 2018, with the SEC arguing that, in truth, Musk knew that the potential transaction was “uncertain and subject to numerous contingencies.”

It’s unclear how the purchase of Twitter would affect Musk’s ability to prevent the SEC from enforcing its 2018 agreement barring him from freely tweeting, and rumors surrounding the reasoning behind Musk’s action are swirling.

The SEC and Musk’s lawyers did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment. 

Wedbush’s top tech analyst, Dan Ives, said the deal to take Twitter private is likely to either go through or lead Twitter management to the open market looking for another buyer. 

But billionaire investor Mark Cuban says the whole act might be a classic Musk attempt at trolling.

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks took to Twitter on Thursday to discuss Musk’s Twitter bid, arguing that the Tesla CEO could simply be using the announcement to toy with his enemies at the SEC. 

“His filing w/the SEC allows him to say he wants to take a company private for $54.20,” Cuban wrote, comparing the bid to Musk’s 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private at $420. “Price go up. His shares get sold. Profit.”

The move would leave the SEC dumbfounded, Cuban added. 

While Cuban’s comments may be surprising, Musk is no stranger to trolling federal agencies. After all, he admitted that he does “not respect the SEC” in a 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, and went on to mock the agency as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” in a series of tweets.

On Thursday, just hours after Musk’s SEC filing revealed his $43 billion offer to buy Twitter, he said at a TED Vancouver conference that, actually, he was “not sure” he would actually be able to complete the transaction, perhaps lending weight to Cuban’s trolling thesis.