Trump Media Gets Aggressive With S.E.C. Over Delayed Merger


The upstart social media company backed by former President Donald J. Trump appears to be taking a more aggressive approach with regulators as it seeks approval for its delayed merger with a cash-rich shell company.

Trump Media & Technology Group issued a statement Thursday evening that said the Securities and Exchange Commission had “needlessly delayed its review” of the proposed merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Trump Media also said the S.E.C. “needs to set aside any improper political considerations” and swiftly approve the merger.

Devin Nunes, the former Republican congressman and chief executive of Trump Media, added more criticism in a post on Truth Social, the company’s flagship social media platform. In a post that linked to the company’s statement, Mr. Nunes wrote: “No more BS!”

Until now, Trump Media had adopted a reserved stance with the S.E.C., which along with federal prosecutors in Manhattan has been investigating a number of issues surrounding the proposed merger. But the more aggressive approach comes as Trump Media and Digital World scramble to keep the proposed merger alive.

Trump Media issued the statement shortly after Digital World said it needed more time to get shareholders to approve a measure that would give the companies another year to complete their deal.

The deadline for completing the merger, which was announced in October, was Thursday, and Digital World was on the verge of having to liquidate itself and return the nearly $300 million it raised in its initial public offering. But, at the last minute, the group that sponsored the SPAC came up with $2.8 million to put into a special bank account for shareholders that gives the SPAC three more months to try to get enough investors to vote for a yearlong extension.

In its statement, Trump Media said that the S.E.C.’s job was to protect retail investors and that its delay in approving the merger was causing “unnecessary financial harm” to Digital World’s shareholders, “roughly 90 percent of whom are small, retail shareholders.”

Trump Media did not respond to requests for comment.



Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/09/business/trump-media-gets-aggressive-with-regulators-over-delayed-merger.html