No laws broken, no action to be taken as foreign sales mount
The SEC investigation of Apple's foreign cash holdings and whether the company was dodging -- legally or otherwise -- any tax responsibility to the US has closed with the agency planning to take no further action on the matter. Following somewhat fiery hearings in Congress that some say used Apple as a scapegoat for the wider issues of US companies taking advantages of tax loopholes -- which Congress inserted into the tax code in the first place -- the agency appears to have found Apple doing nothing wrong within the boundaries of the current law.
SEC suit against Bitcoin hedge fund forced district court ruling
Bitcoin is a recognized currency that is subject to the laws of the United States, according to a federal judge ruling over a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Bitcoin hedge fund owner. Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas declared Bitcoin as "a currency or form of money," paving the way for government regulation in the virtual currency.
Shareholders to vote on June 12th, deal could close July 1st
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the proposal from SoftBank to buy out Sprint. While shareholders in the US carrier are expected to discuss and vote on the deal at a meeting next month, the chairman of Dish Network has made comments against the proposal, citing the need for Sprint's network to be upgraded by US teams.
New policy follows Netflix CEO investigation
The Securities and Exchange Commission has revised its reporting requirements, enabling companies to use social media to announce information that could be of interest to investors. The Commission cites its investigation into a Facebook post by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, which noted viewership metrics and drove up the company's stock value, as the driving force behind its reconsideration and clarification of the current Regulation FD reporting requirements.
Share sale repeat of $1.45B transaction last year
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be selling two-fifths of his stake in the company in exchange for a significant amount of cash. The former CEO will earn around $2.51 billion from the transaction, the intention for which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after hours on Friday.
July Facebook post could net Netflix a civil claim
Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings have been informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that they could face a civil claim over a post a statement Hastings posted to Facebook over the summer. This past July, Hastings' Facebook page announced Netflix had surpassed a billion hours of user streaming for the month of June, the first time the service has done so in its history. That post, though, may have violated regulations regarding fair disclosure, the SEC has reportedly told Netflix.
Morgan Stanley allegedly warns investors on Facebook revenue estimates
The Facebook initial public offering (IPO) may have been hampered by the bank that brought the social network to Wall Street. The LA Times writes, Morgan Stanley was advising favored clients on reduced revenue estimates for Facebook, leading Wall Street insiders to avoid or drop shares. The US Securities and Exchange Commission will be looking into the Facebook IPO, with the Financial Industrial Regulatory Authority also expressing concern, particularly as this resulted in non-institutional investors with more shares than they had intended. With Facebook shares expected to be scarce, some investors over-ordered in the belief that they might miss out if they didn't, leaving them more exposed than they had planned.
Robert Kwok faces fines, business restrictions
Yahoo's former senior director of business management, Robert W. Kwok, and a former mutual fund manager at Ameriprise Financial have agreed to settle insider trading charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains that Kwok and fund manager Reema D. Shah shared confidential information after a chance meeting in 2008 and continued with the information exchange into 2009. Kwok pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and Shah pled guilty to conspiracy. Both await sentencing.
TiVo tries to hold off Motorola suit with its own
TiVo picked an SEC filing to disclose that it had fired back against a 2011 Motorola lawsuit with one of its own. The new complaint, which also includes Motorola customer Time Warner Cable, accuses the two of violating its key Time Warp patents, including for simultaneous DVR recording and watching, converting TV to digital video, and performing functions on a live stream. The filing, as it wasn't a court document, was short on details.
TiVo CTO Barton backs away
TiVo through an SEC filing let slip that its co-founder and CTO Jim Barton was leaving. He had left Friday, although he would stay on as a consultant on legal and patent issues for $25,000 per month. No immediate replacement had been named.
Google's Eric Schmidt sells large stock amount
Google through an SEC filing on Friday revealed that its chairman Eric Schmidt intended to sell a large if minority portion of his stock. The plan would see him sell as much as 2.4 million of 9.1 million total shares, which at the $604.64 closing price would net slightly over $1.45 billion. The swap will leave him with about 6.7 million shares, or enough to still represent 2.1 percent of Google's entire share base and 7.3 percent of the voting power.
SEC allows issue to come to shareholder vote
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly ordered AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to allow net neutrality proposals to be included in annual shareholder votes. The move is said to be partially inspired by pressure from shareholder groups such as Trillium Asset Management, which represents high-profile AT&T investors including Mike D of the Beastie Boys and his wife Tamra Davis, director of "Half Baked" and "Billy Madison."
Kodak SEC filing board loses third member
Kodak saw its hopes of bouncing back fade on Friday after it filed twice with the SEC to say three board members had resigned. Adam Clammer and Herald Chen were reported as having left on Tuesday, while Laura Tyson was now known to have left as of the Friday release. Neither release gave an indication as to the reasons for leaving.
SEC charges former Deutsche Telekom execs
US Regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Deutsche Telekom, a Hungarian unit and three former executives in a corruption case, according to a Thursday report. The charges include bribery of government officials in Macedonia and Montenegro dating back to 2005 and 2006, with the activities made public in 2010. Magyar Telekom, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, allegedly gave Macedonian officials 4.88 million euros (about $6.3 million) disguised as consulting and marketing contracts in order to keep a rival out of the market.
Litigation appears to have proven unsuccessful
Kodak has quietly warned that it may have difficulty continuing operations if it cannot fetch additional funding. In its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported a 10 percent drop in cash holdings, down from $957 million to $862 million, and slashed its cash balance forecast for the end of the year by $300 million.
Apple pressed to divulge Nokia patent deal to SEC
The SEC through a series of recently uncovered letters is now known to have chastised Apple for not giving details on its patent deal with Nokia. Officials at the US commission in a were concerned in a June 28 response (below) that Apple hadn't disclosed the amount and terms of the deal. Apple answered that it didn't consider the terms having a material impact on its results, triggering a disagreement with the SEC.
Icahn wants Motorola to consider selling IP
Frequent activist investor Carl Icahn on Thursday triggered a rush on Motorola Mobility's shares after he called on the company to consider selling patents. A 13D filing with the SEC asked the Android smartphone designer to look at "alternatives regarding its patent portfolio to enhance shareholder value." Icahn has 11.36 percent of Motorola's shares and would immediately stand to benefit from any sale.
NVIDIA-Microsoft deal would discourage Apple buy
NVIDIA has a special deal with Microsoft to prevent outside deals and possibly let Microsoft itself buy it out, according to SEC filings. The Windows developer has rights of refusal on any attempt by a company to buy more than 30 percent of NVIDIA's share, preventing any other company from buying a controlling stake. NVIDIA also has "poison pills" that would let it issue shares without shareholder approval to prevent a controlling stake, and its shareholder voting rules would prevent an activist investor from easily overthrowing management.
Barnes and Noble confirms Nook reader on May 24
Barnes & Noble unusually chose to confirm plans for a future Nook with an SEC filing on Wednesday. The posting says only that an unveiling for a "new eReader device" was planned for May 24. It remained silent on details but admitted that it had been forced to make the filing after it hinted at plans in an analyst meeting.
Pandora reveals government checking app privacy
Pandora in an SEC filing on Monday revealed that a federal grand jury was investigating the privacy of Android and iPhone apps. A subpoena earlier this year had asked it for data on how it was sharing information as part of a larger look at Android and iOS. The Internet radio provider wasn't a subject of the investigation, but it was inclined to believe there was an investigation underway on an "industry-wide basis."
Motorola SEC filing shows dependency on Verizon
Motorola in an SEC filing on Friday confirmed a heavy dependency on Verizon for its success. About 28 percent of all of Motorola's net revenue in 2010, including only the mobile group that split off this year, could be attributed solely to supplying Verizon with phones. The figure could almost exclusively be attributed to Android phones and was portrayed as leaving the company vulnerable if it lost some or all of Verizon's deal.
Pandora goes for 100 million IPO
Internet radio's early competitor Pandora on Friday said it had put forward an SEC filing for an initial public offering of stock. The company said it hadn't determined the share price but in a disclosure suggested it wanted to raise as much as $100 million. It also didn't say when it expected the IPO to go live.
HP accused of bribery in Europe as well as Russia
Investigations into HP bribery for government contracts have expanded into Europe, HP revealed in an SEC filing (PDF late Wednesday. Both the SEC and the Department of Justice were looking into allegations that it paid kickbacks not just to Russia but also Austria, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Germany, the Netherlands and Serbia. Two "former HP executives" were involved as far back as 2000, HP said, one of which was known to be HP's sales head in Russia.
Borders SEC filing hints at Barnes and Noble talks
Borders might buy out Barnes & Noble in what could be a major shakeup in the e-reader space, according to an SEC filing. Borders has said it might buy its rival bookseller for $16 per share or else a mixture of cash and stock. There is "no assurance" that a deal will be finished, Borders cautioned.
Dell settlement approved by federal judge
Computer maker Dell has received the permission to settle accounting-fraud claims brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission from a judge by paying a $100 million fine. US District Judge Richard Leon approved the settlement in Washington on Wednesday. The agreement lets Michael Dell remain CEO after paying a $4 million fine with personal funds.
US officials look deeper into potential HP bribes
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has now begun an investigation of HP over alleged kickbacks to Russian rules makers that can date as far back as 2000. The move follows a similar investigation by the Department of Justice into the same matter. HP affiliates in Russia are said to have paid out some $11 million in order to get a $44.5 million contract between 2001 and 2006.
SEC filing shows mutiny against Michael Dell
Just over a quarter of Dell's shareholders want company founder Michael Dell out from chairman of the board, an SEC filing late Tuesday revealed. About 25.1 percent of investors refused to vote for Dell's return to the board of directors at last week's annual shareholders' meeting. The lack of confidence was a reflection of protests by the respective unions of the AFL-CIO and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees over the company's refusal to fire Dell after settling an SEC suit alleging fraud.
DOJ checking HP bribes after Germany hindered
The US Department of Justice was reported on Friday as having launched a direct investigation into allegations of HP bribery in Russia. It had previously been sidelined but took direct involvement after HP denied German prosecutors documents that might prove the claims, according to the WSJ. Getting the documents was was supposedly an "undue hardship" for HP partly due to age, as the oldest documents were five years old.
ATT filing hints knowledge iPhone going away
AT&T in a newly published SEC filing discussing its latest results dropped strong hints that its iPhone exclusivity is nearing its end. The carrier devoted a significant section of its warnings to the risks that occur when "exclusivity arrangements end" and tried to minimize the potential effect. It didn't see the potential loss of Apple as a "material negative impact" and insisted that a non-exclusive wouldn't hurt customer turnover or the additions of regular subscribers.
Dell, CEO propose settlements to end SEC probe
PC maker Dell on Friday announced that the company and chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, have proposed settlements to the staff of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over claims of illegal accounting practices. These settlements, which weren't detailed, are subject to approval by the SEC and a US District Court. This follows a June announcement that Dell has put aside $100 million to cover the cost of settling the SEC charges.
HP bought Palm only after heated competition
HP's buyout of Palm was the result of a heated battle between several companies, an SEC filing revealed today. Five companies reached the point of bidding for Palm between February 17 and April 1, and at least two of these were dropped two weeks later as more competitive bids were already on the table. Between then and the 24th, HP and its main challenger were engaged in a bidding war that ended when the losing bidder added negative terms to its bid and at one point offered only to buy patents and a webOS license.
HP may have bribed to get contract
An investigation is underway into allegations that HP may have bribed the Russian government to win a computer contract. German, Russian and now reportedly US officials are checking a claim that the PC builder sent the equivalent of $10.9 million to Russia's prosecutor general's office, through a German partner firm, to guarantee that it would get a lucrative deal supplying PCs. The bribe was allegedly elaborate masked and routed through shells in the US and locations as far away as Belize and the British Virgin Islands.
SEC reveals cash and stock bonus for Cook
Apple in a just-published SEC filing has revealed that its chief operating officer, Tim Cook, was paid about $22 million in bonuses for acting as CEO during Steve Jobs' medical leave last year. The payouts included both a $5 million immediate bonus as well as 75,000 units of restricted stock, which at the time issued were worth about $17 million. Both reflect the "outstanding performance" in taking Apple's helm, the filing reads.
Apple could be losing another board member
A recent SEC form filed by Apple could be an indication that the company will lose another board member, according to Fortune. The document discloses that Bill Campbell has executed a "non-sale transfer" of 60,000 shares of AAPL stock. The shares, which include Campbell's directors options, are estimated to be worth approximately $17.7 million.
Heinen settles with SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a settlement in the backdating allegations against Apple's former general counsel, Nancy Heinen. Heinen is the central figure in the backdating scandal that saw Apple accused of improper options payouts which led to numerous lawsuits from shareholders and has seen Apple CEO Steve Jobs subpoenaed to testify in court about the backdating. Heinen has agreed to pay $2.2 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties, and will also be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for five years. She has also been suspended from appearing or practicing as an attorney before the SEC for three years, but has not had to admit or deny the Commission's allegations.
Yahoo works to delay MS
Yahoo is extending the deadline for nominations to its board of directors, Reuters reports. While nominations were to have ended by March 14th, they will now take place 10 days after the company announces a date for its shareholders' meeting. The move is openly admitted by CEO Jerry Yang to be a delay tactic, preventing Microsoft from subverting Yahoo in order to ease its hostile takeover attempt. "Microsoft, of course, could still choose to name directors," says Yang in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, "but our objective here is to enable our board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders without the distraction of a proxy contest."