Apple settles backdating lawsuit for $14 million

Stock-option backdating troubles at Apple appear to be history following the settlement of a shareholder suit filed against company executives.

Apple executives have settled a shareholder lawsuit filed over its stock-option backdating practices for $14 million.

The executives themselves, including CEO Steve Jobs, won't actually have to cough up the cash: that's why they have insurance, according to the Associated Press. And the money actually goes to the corporation, not the shareholders themselves, because this was a "derivative" lawsuit that sought compensation on behalf of the company. Attempts by shareholders to sue on their own behalf have been stymied by the fact that Apple's stock has actually risen since the backdating was revealed in late 2006.

Unless anything else surfaces, this is probably the end of Apple's stock-option troubles, which forced the company to take an $84 million charge in 2006 to properly account for stock option awards that were given to executives with cherry-picked grant dates. No one from Apple's current management team has been charged, and Securities and Exchange Commission cases against former executives Fred Anderson and Nancy Heinen have been settled.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.


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