RIM executives settle option backdating case

Canada's Ontario Securities Commission had reportedly been considering a C$100 million fine for RIM's co-CEOs, but a settlement agreement has been reached.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie RIM

Research in Motion's co-CEOs might have dodged what could have been one of Canada's largest penalties ever imposed with a settlement agreement announced Wednesday.

RIM announced that the company as well as "certain of its officers and directors" (which we know to be CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis) has settled with the Ontario Securities Commission over an investigation into stock option backdating at RIM over the last decade. The OSC still has to approve the settlement at a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed; it's up to the OSC to decide whether it wants to later disclose the number. But Balsille and Lazardis were reportedly facing fines of up to C$100 million ($79 million) for their roles in a decade's worth of option backdating at RIM, and a quick settlement might imply that agreement on a smaller fine was reached.