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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Apple Backdating Opinion and "oPtion$" Book Club

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has won the first round of a shareholder suit involving the backdated stock options provided to Steve Jobs and others at the company from 1997 to 2002.  The case was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel.  The court held that "without a discernable drop in the stock price there is no basis upon which to establish an injury to shareholders."  However, the court did apparently give shareholders leave to refile the claims as a derivative suit.  (I was unable to find the opinion online or on Westlaw; if you can find it, we'd love a link in the comments.)

Over at his secret diary, Steve Jobs has weighed in with this report:

I just called the people at the New York City Employees' Retirement System, which was the lead plaintiff in the case, and told them that even though they had tried to cash in on a bogus claim and that, ironically, if they'd succeeded and won a settlement they would have been hurting Apple and sucking money out of the pockets of shareholders, that nevertheless I hoped we could move on in peace and harmony with one another, and that I hold no hard feelings against.

31mwi8vqbel_aa240_ This seems like an auspicious time to announce that PrawfsBlawg will be hosting a Book Club for "oPtion$", the chronicle of these backdating events by the (fake) Steve Jobs of Secret Diary fame.  Here's a brief blurb from the "oPtion$" review in the Wall Street Journal:

The setup is Mr. Jobs's real-life run-in last year with California prosecutors who claimed that he had backdated stock options to increase their value. In the book, Fake Steve can't even remember the options grant. He doesn't understand finances at all. A lone, self-absorbed obsessive who wants only to perfect his gadgets, he tunes out anyone who tries to explain the details of the scandal. He is more troubled by minute flaws in the room's furniture. With $5 billion in the bank, he's eager to pay a fine and be left alone with his iPhone. But the threat of prison cracks his delusion of invulnerability. The head of the legal department warns him of the potential trouble he faces, and Fake Steve reflects: "That's a strange word, incarceration, and after she says it a weird silence comes over the room. Suddenly the air feels really, really cold, and it's so quiet that I can hear the air conditioning whirring in the walls, and I'm thinking to myself, Holy friggin mother of Jesus, I am so going to kill the a-holes who did the HVAC work in this place."

Look for the Book Club coming in early December -- further details will follow.  We hope you all will get your hands on this shiny, alluring tome and join us for the Club.

Posted by Matt Bodie on November 15, 2007 at 06:30 PM in Corporate | Permalink

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