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June 16, 2006

Microsoft under scrutiny in securities cases

Posted by David Hunter at 8:13 AM ET.

Gina Keating at Reuters – Microsoft, Softbank reinstated in NY class action:

Microsoft Corp. and Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Corp. were reinstated as defendants in a securities class action brought by investors in telecom company Global Crossing and its affiliate Asia Global Crossing, according to court documents.

The two companies were investors with Global Crossing in Asia Global Crossing and had each appointed their own employees as board member to the Asia affiliate.

A New York federal judge ruled on Tuesday the plaintiffs, including the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio and State Teachers’ Retirement System of Ohio, had discovered new evidence that links the Microsoft and SoftBank board members with an alleged scheme to defraud investors.

A spokesman for Microsoft had no immediate comment.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting that Microsoft is under scrutiny by the SEC for its past practice of awarding stock options at the previous 30 days’ low price. Per Reuters:

U.S. regulators are investigating the back-dating of options at more than 45 companies, which risk disclosure and securities fraud violations. However, the Journal quoted Columbia law professor John Coffee as saying he doubted Microsoft would suffer federal sanctions.

Filed under Financial, General Business, Legal, Microsoft

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