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Tesla CEO Musk gets contempt reprieve
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NEW YORK (AP) — A judge on Thursday urged stock market regulators and Tesla CEO Elon Musk to amicably settle their dispute over his tweets.

If not, she said she’ll decide whether to grant regulators’ request that the outspoken executive face escalating fines if he breaks rules protecting investors.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan asked how she should punish Musk if she finds him in contempt for violating a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission requiring him to first clear with lawyers tweets that might disclose important company facts.

SEC attorney Cheryl Crumpton recommended fines.

But at the end of the hearing, Nathan ordered both sides to seek a resolution over the next two weeks.

“Everybody take a deep breath, put your reasonableness pants on and work this out,” Nathan said.

Even so, Nathan said court-supervised agreements must be obeyed.

“I don’t care if you are a small potato or a big fish,” Nathan said as Musk, with an estimated worth of $22 billion, sat at a defense table with his lawyers.

Nathan pressed Crumpton during the hearing to define the conditions under which Musk should seek approval before he tweets, and drew attention to ambiguity surrounding the rules the SEC sought to enforce.