SEC Probes Steve Jobs Health Disclosure

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Apple may have fallen under the watchful eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission for potentially misleading investors with information about CEO Steve Jobs's health. The agency is apparently looking into the matter even though there may not be any evidence of wrongdoing, according to Bloomberg.

Unnamed sources close to the matter have said that the SEC is conducting a private investigation to determine whether or not the Cupertino-based company's disclosures regarding Mr. Jobs where designed to mislead investors.

Mr. Jobs released a statement through Apple on January 5 where he stated that he was being treated for a hormone imbalance that was causing him to lose weight. On January 14, however, he announced that he was taking a six month leave of absence because his health issues were "more complex" than he originally thought.

James Cox, a law professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina commented "It's not surprising for the SEC to come in and look afterward, given the pressure and publicity regarding their handling of a lot of cases," like the agency's recent handling of Bernard Madoff's alleged US$50 billion Ponzi scheme.

The likelihood that the SEC would bring charges against Apple in this case isn't great -- unless the agency can show that the company planned to benefit by intentionally withholding concrete information out the CEO's health. Peter Henning, a Wayne State University Law School instructor and former SEC lawyer commented "It would be difficult, and certainly a new area of the law. You would have to pin down exactly what they knew, and with a health issue -- unlike a merger or a decline in revenue -- it's not subject to definitive answers."

For now it appears that the SEC investigation is merely routine, and that there currently isn't any indication of wrongdoing on Apple's part.

 

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6 Comments Leave Your Own

jbruni

This is unreal. If Michael Dell was sick do you really think the stock price would move? Even so, does it really warrant an SEC investigation?

joepitt

I guess this is what the SEC considers it’s regulatory role to be. Investigate one of the few strong companies…while the financial industry falls apart.

NeXTLoop

The only good thing about this is that, once the SEC clears Apple, it will set a nice precedent that will make it much harder for any individual, greedy shareholders to try and sue.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The difference between Steve Jobs and Michael Dell is that Michael Dell doesn’t design, implement, assemble, box, shrinkwrap, deliver, and sell Dell’s products. Nor does he masterfully handle the accounting of the company.

Tiger

And is Dell sitting on $23 billion in cash?

You have to think the Feds would love to get a good chunk of that, one way or another.

geoduck

[quoteThe difference between Steve Jobs and Michael Dell is that Michael Dell doesn?t design, implement, assemble, box, shrinkwrap, deliver, and sell Dell?s products. Nor does he masterfully handle the accounting of the company.

Well put.

Actually though I don’t see this as a big deal. There were ongoing questions about SJ’s health and the impact of a sudden departure on the company. SJ did suddenly depart.The question has come up as to when did SJ and the board know his health had taken such a significant turn. I think the SEC is just going through perfunctory motions to reassure everyone that they are on the ball. If nothing else, to try to obscure their utter malfeasance over the last decade.

In a month or two the SEC will issue a report (it might already be written) stating that no rules were broken.

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