Apple, Shareholders Settle in Stock Backdating Suit

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Apple has agreed to a tentative settlement in a suit filed against the company by shareholders over improperly backdated stock option grants. If approved by the court, insurance companies representing the named defendants will cough up some US$14 million, $8.85 million of which will go to the plaintiffis attorneys, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Apple executives named in the suit, including CEO Steve Jobs, have denied any wrong doing as part of the settlement agreement.

The law suit was filed after Apple revealed in 2006 that certain stock option grants issued between 1997 and 2002 were improperly backdated. The companyis own investigation led to an $84 million financial results restatement for 1998 up through 2006.

None of the $14 million settlement will make it into the plaintiffis hands -- at least not directly. Since the case was a derivative action, the money will be turned over to Apple because shareholders were suing the executives on behalf of the company.

The settlement agreement is awaiting final court approval. A hearing is scheduled for October 31.

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