Did Apple break violate securities laws?

Reader comment on: Apple's Outrageous Settlement

Submitted by J.Johnson (United States), Oct 7, 2010 14:49

I don't understand what happened here. Did Apple violate federal laws? Is this settlement with NYC a way for Apple to avoid trial and possibly paying more money ? And/or to avoid more bad publicity if they did violate securities laws ? And why did they settle if, as you said, Judge Foley had already dismissed the case ? And how does the price of Apple stock AFTER it broke laws, assuming it broke laws, any sort of justification for not being penalized for law breaking ? I think Apple is a great company and Steve Jobs is a genius and I use my Apple laptop every day, but none of that is relevant, just as much of what you just wrote is not relevant to the fundamental reason why Apple was in trouble. Please don't have Future of Capitalism start picking and choosing who should be exempt from laws applying to all companies issuing stock options, just as the NY Times picks and chooses who is and is not covered by the First Amendment or proponents of "comprehensive immigration reform" pick and choose who should be able to enter the United States illegally.

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The Future of Capitalism replies:

Good points. Apple has not been charged by any enforcement agency such as the SEC or the IRS with violating laws, but there is this civil suit. I think there was an appeal or some shred of the case still standing after most of it had been dismissed. I agree that laws should be enforced, I just don't see that the right remedy for a violation of the law that abused shareholders and enriched management (if that is what happened) is to take more money away from some shareholders and give it to other ones. Why not penalize Jobs and the directors rather than the shareholders? But one should ask why penalize them, too, if the company has performed so well.

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