Feeds

Apple agrees to pay itself $14m

Settles backdating lawsuits (almost)

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Apple has agreed to pay itself $14m in order to settle shareholder lawsuits over improperly backdated stock options awards.

A preliminary settlement, approved Monday by Judge Jeremy Fogel in US District Court for Northern California, will end 19 separate derivative lawsuits filed by Apple shareholders against Apple's top executives and board members.

Defendants named in the 14 state and five federal cases include CEO Steve Jobs, former CFO Fred Anderson, former general Counsel Nancy Heinen, current CFO Peter Oppenheimer and others.

A derivative lawsuit is typically initiated by a shareholder on behalf of the company. Proceeds of a successful action are usually rewarded to the company, rather than the individual.

Attempts by shareholders to sue on their own behalf have thus far been unsuccessful. Particularly in light of Apple having offered cash payments to make up for the shortfall and the stock price having risen since the backdating scandal was uncovered in late 2006.

Under Apple's proposed settlement, $14m will be paid to Apple – not by the officers and directors themselves, but by their liability insurers. Apple said in a court filing that the sum represents a "substantial percentage" of the maximum possible recovery Apple would have received if the plaintiffs prevailed on their claims. Apple also agreed to pay a total of $8.85m to federal and state attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

If it passes final muster, the settlement will end the derivative cases that accuses Apple brass of hurting the company by knowingly altering the dates of when stock option grants were awarded to executives so that they appeared to have been given when the price was at a low. Backdating isn't illegal in itself – but the practice needs to be divulged to the US Securities and Exchange Commission or things get sticky.

Apple already received a rap on its chamber the door from government regulators, and duly admitted it incorrectly accounted for share options.

After an internal investigation, the company blamed ex-financial chief Fred Anderson and ex-general council Nancy Heinen for the trouble. Anderson settled with the SEC for $3.5m without admitting wrongdoing, and Heinen paid $2.2m just last month for a similar arrangement. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.