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Briefly: Apple website rework, CEO security costs $700k per year

08/07, 10:12am

Apple store and main website combined into single entity

Yesterday late, Apple revamped its online presence. The previous separate store is gone, replaced by direct buying links on each product page, and a unified "shopping bag" icon to replace the "store" button in the top menu bar of the site. Clicking on the purchase link no longer redirects to the domain, instead filling the always-available shopping bag, and streamlines the product purchase process.


Apple: EU Ireland investigation could have 'material' profit impact

04/30, 1:48pm

Commission may demand back taxes avoided due to Irish corporate tax laws

Apple has filed its latest quarterly report with the US government, and in so doing noted that an ongoing European Commission investigation of Ireland and its government's corporate tax rate could "require Ireland to recover from the company past taxes covering a period of up to 10 years reflective of the disallowed state aid," calling that potential amount "material." While difficult to gauge, the eventual impact could be in the billions for Apple.


US SEC investigating LA bond sale around troublesome iPad deal

04/17, 8:49am

Contract between LAUSD and Apple not being examined, only financials

Adding a further level of complexity to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) failed iPad program, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an "informal inquiry" to investigate if the school complied with legal requirements for bond usage in the purchase. The agency is reportedly examining if the contract was properly disclosed to investors, and if sufficient documentation was provided to insure the bonds were used legally.


Apple SEC filing reveals executive RSU bonuses, lobbying costs

10/22, 12:13am

Company uses restricted stock units, conditional on performance, as incentives

In its latest SEC 10-Q filing, Apple has revealed certain company details -- including the fact that it still spends a small fraction of the money other tech firms do on Washington lobbying, and that it continues its practice of awarding its executives restricted stock units (RSUs) that could be worth millions if they stay with the company and it continues to do well. CFO Luca Maestri and Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Dame Angela Ahrendts both received their first executive bonuses as part of the disclosure.


Facebook: SEC IPO query dropped, no enforcement action coming

07/26, 9:25am

Investigation centered on technical issues, bank actions marring launch

As part of Facebook's quarterly financial disclosures, the social networking giant reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ended its investigation involving Facebook conduct surrounding the initial public offering in 2013. In its quarterly report, Facebook claims that the SEC ""notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended." Shareholder lawsuits against Facebook and affiliated banks are unaffected by the disclosure.


Bitcoin evangelist pays SEC to settle unregistered securities charges

06/04, 4:24pm

Agreement requires Erick Voorhees to surrender profits, pay $35000 in fines

Erik Voorhees, a co-founder of FeedZeBirds and SatoshiDice, has settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over charges related to selling shares of the two companies. Information from the SEC says that Voorhees had solicited the sale of shares in open channels as early as 2012, netting himself over $15,000 in profit in the process.


AT&T spells out savings, customer benefits in DirectTV buy SEC filing

06/04, 1:16pm

None of the savings likely to be passed to customers, will fund expansions

In the controversial process of merging with DirecTV, AT&T will have to file a great deal of regulatory paperwork with the federal government. One such document to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that AT&T believes it can save 20 percent on the cost of acquiring programming for its users. These savings are unlikely to be passed to the customer, and instead will be intended to fund rural broadband programs and other expansions planned by the mega-corporation, should the merger be approved.


SEC offers list of Bitcoin risks topped by fraud, regulation issues

05/07, 3:27pm

Investor alert issued to raise investor awareness of virtual currency risks

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued another investor alert on Bitcoin that follows on from a previous publication. Both warn potential investors of the risks of the virtual currency. Offering a long list to support their alert, the SEC draws more references to the Ponzi scheme nature of the currency, the probability of fraud and what the lack of regulation means.


Microsoft, Barnes & Noble changing deal according to SEC filing

03/16, 12:20pm

B&N halts Nook apps, will deliver content for Microsoft Consumer Reader

The relationship between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft seems to be changing after an 8-K SEC filing from March 10 was discovered, showing a change in the agreement between the two companies. The book store giant will be allowed to halt development of the Nook Windows app in lieu of working with Microsoft on a project dubbed "Microsoft Consumer Reader" according to the filing. This comes after Microsoft had reportedly considered buying parts of the Nook Media for $1 billion last year.


SEC closes investigation of Apple's foreign cash pile

10/04, 10:54pm

No laws broken, no action to be taken as foreign sales mount

The SEC investigation of Apple's foreign cash holdings and whether the company was dodging -- legally or otherwise -- any tax responsibility to the US has closed with the agency planning to take no further action on the matter. Following somewhat fiery hearings in Congress that some say used Apple as a scapegoat for the wider issues of US companies taking advantages of tax loopholes -- which Congress inserted into the tax code in the first place -- the agency appears to have found Apple doing nothing wrong within the boundaries of the current law.


Bitcoin recognised as a regulatable currency by Texas federal judge

08/08, 3:10pm

SEC suit against Bitcoin hedge fund forced district court ruling

Bitcoin is a recognized currency that is subject to the laws of the United States, according to a federal judge ruling over a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Bitcoin hedge fund owner. Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas declared Bitcoin as "a currency or form of money," paving the way for government regulation in the virtual currency.


SEC approves SoftBank offer to Sprint, Dish chairman attacks proposal

05/02, 1:19pm

Shareholders to vote on June 12th, deal could close July 1st

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the proposal from SoftBank to buy out Sprint. While shareholders in the US carrier are expected to discuss and vote on the deal at a meeting next month, the chairman of Dish Network has made comments against the proposal, citing the need for Sprint's network to be upgraded by US teams.


SEC greenlights investor updates via Twitter, Facebook

04/02, 6:52pm

New policy follows Netflix CEO investigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission has revised its reporting requirements, enabling companies to use social media to announce information that could be of interest to investors. The Commission cites its investigation into a Facebook post by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, which noted viewership metrics and drove up the company's stock value, as the driving force behind its reconsideration and clarification of the current Regulation FD reporting requirements.


Schmidt to sell $2.5B in Google shares to diversify holdings

02/10, 8:38pm

Share sale repeat of $1.45B transaction last year

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be selling two-fifths of his stake in the company in exchange for a significant amount of cash. The former CEO will earn around $2.51 billion from the transaction, the intention for which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after hours on Friday.


Netflix CEO faces SEC action over Facebook post

12/06, 9:05pm

July Facebook post could net Netflix a civil claim

Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings have been informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that they could face a civil claim over a post a statement Hastings posted to Facebook over the summer. This past July, Hastings' Facebook page announced Netflix had surpassed a billion hours of user streaming for the month of June, the first time the service has done so in its history. That post, though, may have violated regulations regarding fair disclosure, the SEC has reportedly told Netflix.


SEC, regulators to scrutinize Facebook IPO issues

05/23, 6:27am

Morgan Stanley allegedly warns investors on Facebook revenue estimates

The Facebook initial public offering (IPO) may have been hampered by the bank that brought the social network to Wall Street. The LA Times writes, Morgan Stanley was advising favored clients on reduced revenue estimates for Facebook, leading Wall Street insiders to avoid or drop shares. The US Securities and Exchange Commission will be looking into the Facebook IPO, with the Financial Industrial Regulatory Authority also expressing concern, particularly as this resulted in non-institutional investors with more shares than they had intended. With Facebook shares expected to be scarce, some investors over-ordered in the belief that they might miss out if they didn't, leaving them more exposed than they had planned.


Former Yahoo executive settling insider trading charges

05/22, 1:08am

Robert Kwok faces fines, business restrictions

Yahoo's former senior director of business management, Robert W. Kwok, and a former mutual fund manager at Ameriprise Financial have agreed to settle insider trading charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains that Kwok and fund manager Reema D. Shah shared confidential information after a chance meeting in 2008 and continued with the information exchange into 2009. Kwok pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and Shah pled guilty to conspiracy. Both await sentencing.


TiVo sues back vs. Motorola, Time Warner over DVR patents

03/26, 1:55pm

TiVo tries to hold off Motorola suit with its own

TiVo picked an SEC filing to disclose that it had fired back against a 2011 Motorola lawsuit with one of its own. The new complaint, which also includes Motorola customer Time Warner Cable, accuses the two of violating its key Time Warp patents, including for simultaneous DVR recording and watching, converting TV to digital video, and performing functions on a live stream. The filing, as it wasn't a court document, was short on details.


TiVo co-creator Barton leaves CTO role

03/17, 5:10pm

TiVo CTO Barton backs away

TiVo through an SEC filing let slip that its co-founder and CTO Jim Barton was leaving. He had left Friday, although he would stay on as a consultant on legal and patent issues for $25,000 per month. No immediate replacement had been named.


Google chairman sells up to $1.45b in stock to diversify

02/18, 12:55pm

Google's Eric Schmidt sells large stock amount

Google through an SEC filing on Friday revealed that its chairman Eric Schmidt intended to sell a large if minority portion of his stock. The plan would see him sell as much as 2.4 million of 9.1 million total shares, which at the $604.64 closing price would net slightly over $1.45 billion. The swap will leave him with about 6.7 million shares, or enough to still represent 2.1 percent of Google's entire share base and 7.3 percent of the voting power.


Beastie Boys' Mike D pushes AT&T to embrace net neutrality

02/14, 11:15pm

SEC allows issue to come to shareholder vote

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly ordered AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to allow net neutrality proposals to be included in annual shareholder votes. The move is said to be partially inspired by pressure from shareholder groups such as Trillium Asset Management, which represents high-profile AT&T investors including Mike D of the Beastie Boys and his wife Tamra Davis, director of "Half Baked" and "Billy Madison."


Kodak loses third director in a week as patent war founders

12/30, 7:05pm

Kodak SEC filing board loses third member

Kodak saw its hopes of bouncing back fade on Friday after it filed twice with the SEC to say three board members had resigned. Adam Clammer and Herald Chen were reported as having left on Tuesday, while Laura Tyson was now known to have left as of the Friday release. Neither release gave an indication as to the reasons for leaving.


SEC charges Deutsche Telekom over bribery in Macedonia

12/29, 12:25pm

SEC charges former Deutsche Telekom execs

US Regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Deutsche Telekom, a Hungarian unit and three former executives in a corruption case, according to a Thursday report. The charges include bribery of government officials in Macedonia and Montenegro dating back to 2005 and 2006, with the activities made public in 2010. Magyar Telekom, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, allegedly gave Macedonian officials 4.88 million euros (about $6.3 million) disguised as consulting and marketing contracts in order to keep a rival out of the market.


Kodak warns it may close shop without patent deals

11/03, 3:50pm

Litigation appears to have proven unsuccessful

Kodak has quietly warned that it may have difficulty continuing operations if it cannot fetch additional funding. In its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported a 10 percent drop in cash holdings, down from $957 million to $862 million, and slashed its cash balance forecast for the end of the year by $300 million.


SEC: Apple initially wouldn't give info on Nokia settlement

10/03, 11:55am

Apple pressed to divulge Nokia patent deal to SEC

The SEC through a series of recently uncovered letters is now known to have chastised Apple for not giving details on its patent deal with Nokia. Officials at the US commission in a were concerned in a June 28 response (below) that Apple hadn't disclosed the amount and terms of the deal. Apple answered that it didn't consider the terms having a material impact on its results, triggering a disagreement with the SEC.


Major investor suggests Motorola should sell patents

07/21, 4:10pm

Icahn wants Motorola to consider selling IP

Frequent activist investor Carl Icahn on Thursday triggered a rush on Motorola Mobility's shares after he called on the company to consider selling patents. A 13D filing with the SEC asked the Android smartphone designer to look at "alternatives regarding its patent portfolio to enhance shareholder value." Icahn has 11.36 percent of Motorola's shares and would immediately stand to benefit from any sale.


NVIDIA has pact with Microsoft to block outside takeovers

06/04, 12:35pm

NVIDIA-Microsoft deal would discourage Apple buy

NVIDIA has a special deal with Microsoft to prevent outside deals and possibly let Microsoft itself buy it out, according to SEC filings. The Windows developer has rights of refusal on any attempt by a company to buy more than 30 percent of NVIDIA's share, preventing any other company from buying a controlling stake. NVIDIA also has "poison pills" that would let it issue shares without shareholder approval to prevent a controlling stake, and its shareholder voting rules would prevent an activist investor from easily overthrowing management.


New Nook reader tipped for May 24 by Barnes & Noble filing

05/04, 9:25pm

Barnes and Noble confirms Nook reader on May 24

Barnes & Noble unusually chose to confirm plans for a future Nook with an SEC filing on Wednesday. The posting says only that an unveiling for a "new eReader device" was planned for May 24. It remained silent on details but admitted that it had been forced to make the filing after it hinted at plans in an analyst meeting.


Pandora says government investigating smartphone app privacy

04/04, 4:05pm

Pandora reveals government checking app privacy

Pandora in an SEC filing on Monday revealed that a federal grand jury was investigating the privacy of Android and iPhone apps. A subpoena earlier this year had asked it for data on how it was sharing information as part of a larger look at Android and iOS. The Internet radio provider wasn't a subject of the investigation, but it was inclined to believe there was an investigation underway on an "industry-wide basis."


Motorola reveals 28% of phone revenue from Verzion in 2010

02/18, 3:55pm

Motorola SEC filing shows dependency on Verizon

Motorola in an SEC filing on Friday confirmed a heavy dependency on Verizon for its success. About 28 percent of all of Motorola's net revenue in 2010, including only the mobile group that split off this year, could be attributed solely to supplying Verizon with phones. The figure could almost exclusively be attributed to Android phones and was portrayed as leaving the company vulnerable if it lost some or all of Verizon's deal.


Pandora radio to go public with $100m target, 80m users

02/11, 6:40pm

Pandora goes for 100 million IPO

Internet radio's early competitor Pandora on Friday said it had put forward an SEC filing for an initial public offering of stock. The company said it hadn't determined the share price but in a disclosure suggested it wanted to raise as much as $100 million. It also didn't say when it expected the IPO to go live.


Investigations of HP bribery expand to Europe

12/16, 5:15pm

HP accused of bribery in Europe as well as Russia

Investigations into HP bribery for government contracts have expanded into Europe, HP revealed in an SEC filing (PDF late Wednesday. Both the SEC and the Department of Justice were looking into allegations that it paid kickbacks not just to Russia but also Austria, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Germany, the Netherlands and Serbia. Two "former HP executives" were involved as far back as 2000, HP said, one of which was known to be HP's sales head in Russia.


Borders may buy Barnes & Noble in e-book push

12/06, 12:50pm

Borders SEC filing hints at Barnes and Noble talks

Borders might buy out Barnes & Noble in what could be a major shakeup in the e-reader space, according to an SEC filing. Borders has said it might buy its rival bookseller for $16 per share or else a mixture of cash and stock. There is "no assurance" that a deal will be finished, Borders cautioned.


Dell settles with SEC on fraud accusations

10/14, 4:35pm

Dell settlement approved by federal judge

Computer maker Dell has received the permission to settle accounting-fraud claims brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission from a judge by paying a $100 million fine. US District Judge Richard Leon approved the settlement in Washington on Wednesday. The agreement lets Michael Dell remain CEO after paying a $4 million fine with personal funds.


HP under deeper investigation over alleged bribes

09/10, 12:45pm

US officials look deeper into potential HP bribes

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has now begun an investigation of HP over alleged kickbacks to Russian rules makers that can date as far back as 2000. The move follows a similar investigation by the Department of Justice into the same matter. HP affiliates in Russia are said to have paid out some $11 million in order to get a $44.5 million contract between 2001 and 2006.


SEC: over a quarter of shareholders want Dell CEO out

08/18, 8:10am

SEC filing shows mutiny against Michael Dell

Just over a quarter of Dell's shareholders want company founder Michael Dell out from chairman of the board, an SEC filing late Tuesday revealed. About 25.1 percent of investors refused to vote for Dell's return to the board of directors at last week's annual shareholders' meeting. The lack of confidence was a reflection of protests by the respective unions of the AFL-CIO and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees over the company's refusal to fire Dell after settling an SEC suit alleging fraud.


DOJ looking into HP over Russian bribe claims

08/13, 6:15pm

DOJ checking HP bribes after Germany hindered

The US Department of Justice was reported on Friday as having launched a direct investigation into allegations of HP bribery in Russia. It had previously been sidelined but took direct involvement after HP denied German prosecutors documents that might prove the claims, according to the WSJ. Getting the documents was was supposedly an "undue hardship" for HP partly due to age, as the oldest documents were five years old.


AT&T SEC filing downplays risks from losing iPhone exclusive

08/06, 11:55pm

ATT filing hints knowledge iPhone going away

AT&T in a newly published SEC filing discussing its latest results dropped strong hints that its iPhone exclusivity is nearing its end. The carrier devoted a significant section of its warnings to the risks that occur when "exclusivity arrangements end" and tried to minimize the potential effect. It didn't see the potential loss of Apple as a "material negative impact" and insisted that a non-exclusive wouldn't hurt customer turnover or the additions of regular subscribers.


Dell proposes settlements in SEC investigation

07/16, 11:00am

Dell, CEO propose settlements to end SEC probe

PC maker Dell on Friday announced that the company and chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, have proposed settlements to the staff of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over claims of illegal accounting practices. These settlements, which weren't detailed, are subject to approval by the SEC and a US District Court. This follows a June announcement that Dell has put aside $100 million to cover the cost of settling the SEC charges.


HP-Palm deal the result of a five-way bidding fight

05/16, 5:30pm

HP bought Palm only after heated competition

HP's buyout of Palm was the result of a heated battle between several companies, an SEC filing revealed today. Five companies reached the point of bidding for Palm between February 17 and April 1, and at least two of these were dropped two weeks later as more competitive bids were already on the table. Between then and the 24th, HP and its main challenger were engaged in a bidding war that ended when the losing bidder added negative terms to its bid and at one point offered only to buy patents and a webOS license.


US, Germany, Russia investigating HP bribery claims

04/15, 5:55pm

HP may have bribed to get contract

An investigation is underway into allegations that HP may have bribed the Russian government to win a computer contract. German, Russian and now reportedly US officials are checking a claim that the PC builder sent the equivalent of $10.9 million to Russia's prosecutor general's office, through a German partner firm, to guarantee that it would get a lucrative deal supplying PCs. The bribe was allegedly elaborate masked and routed through shells in the US and locations as far away as Belize and the British Virgin Islands.


Tim Cook nets $22m in bonuses for covering Jobs

03/12, 11:45pm

SEC reveals cash and stock bonus for Cook

Apple in a just-published SEC filing has revealed that its chief operating officer, Tim Cook, was paid about $22 million in bonuses for acting as CEO during Steve Jobs' medical leave last year. The payouts included both a $5 million immediate bonus as well as 75,000 units of restricted stock, which at the time issued were worth about $17 million. Both reflect the "outstanding performance" in taking Apple's helm, the filing reads.


Second Google-connected board member leaving Apple?

09/07, 1:15am

Apple could be losing another board member

A recent SEC form filed by Apple could be an indication that the company will lose another board member, according to Fortune. The document discloses that Bill Campbell has executed a "non-sale transfer" of 60,000 shares of AAPL stock. The shares, which include Campbell's directors options, are estimated to be worth approximately $17.7 million.


Former Apple exec settles case in backdating scandal

08/14, 3:05pm

Heinen settles with SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a settlement in the backdating allegations against Apple's former general counsel, Nancy Heinen. Heinen is the central figure in the backdating scandal that saw Apple accused of improper options payouts which led to numerous lawsuits from shareholders and has seen Apple CEO Steve Jobs subpoenaed to testify in court about the backdating. Heinen has agreed to pay $2.2 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties, and will also be barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for five years. She has also been suspended from appearing or practicing as an attorney before the SEC for three years, but has not had to admit or deny the Commission's allegations.


Yahoo works to delay Microsoft proxy battle

03/05, 12:25pm

Yahoo works to delay MS

Yahoo is extending the deadline for nominations to its board of directors, Reuters reports. While nominations were to have ended by March 14th, they will now take place 10 days after the company announces a date for its shareholders' meeting. The move is openly admitted by CEO Jerry Yang to be a delay tactic, preventing Microsoft from subverting Yahoo in order to ease its hostile takeover attempt. "Microsoft, of course, could still choose to name directors," says Yang in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, "but our objective here is to enable our board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders without the distraction of a proxy contest."



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