Software maker Siebel Systems allegedly misled investors by overstating future demand for new releases of its software, according to a class action complaint against the company. The suit, filed this week in U.S. District Court of Northern California, faults Siebel for citing favorable "independent" customer satisfaction surveys as evidence that its sales would remain strong when, in fact, Siebel was part owner of the company that produced the surveys.
Siebel, whose sales and stock price have dropped over the past several years, is challenging the suit. "We believe the plaintiff's claims are absurd and we will defend ourselves vigorously," the San Mateo, Calif., company said in a statement. The suit is being brought by the law firm Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman on behalf of purchasers of Siebel stock during the period between Oct. 1, 2001 and July 17, 2002.