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Apple Settles Shareholder Lawsuit for Nearly $500 Million (CEO Comments)


On March 15th, 2024, Reuters reported that Apple has reached a nearly $500 million settlement agreement in a shareholder dispute. The dispute in question arose after CEO Tim Cook’s comments regarding the company’s relationship with China. Mr. Cook is accused of misrepresenting the company’s iPhone sales volume in the massive market. Here, our Miami shareholder litigation attorney discusses the large settlement in more detail.

Background: CEO Misled Shareholders About iPhone Sales in China

 In 2019, allegations surfaced that Tim Cook—the well-known CEO of Apple Inc.— misled shareholders about the state of iPhone sales in China. Of course, China is one of the company’s largest and most important consumer markets. The controversy centered around Cook’s optimistic statements regarding Apple’s performance in China—despite evidence of declining sales in the region. These statements were made during a period when Apple faced major challenges in China, including intense competition from local smartphone manufacturers.

 Apple Made Massive Revisions to its Revenue Forecast 

Apple’s massive revision to its revenue forecast marked a rare and significant moment for the tech giant, which has long been known for its stable financial performance among large U.S. companies. However, in early January 2019, Apple issued a warning to investors that it expected to miss its revenue forecast for the first fiscal quarter by approximately $9 billion.

The downward revision was primarily attributed to weaker than anticipated iPhone sales, particularly in China, amid an economic slowdown and increasing competition from local smartphone manufacturers. Of course, this data was in contrast to comments made by CEO Tim Cook. It marked one of the few instances in Apple’s history where the company had to adjust its revenue expectations so drastically.

A Class Action Shareholder Lawsuit was Filed 

After the downward revision of future financial expectations, a group of shareholders filed a class action lawsuit against the company. A class action shareholder lawsuit is a legal action brought by one or more shareholders on behalf of a larger group of shareholders against a company, its management, or its board of directors. It is a type of lawsuit typically arises when the shareholders believe that their interests have been harmed by the company’s wrongful actions or inactions.

Preliminary Settlement Reached: Must Still Be Approved By Court 

A $490 million shareholder settlement was reached in the class action lawsuit. To be clear, the $490 million settlement still requires approval from federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The court must ensure that the terms of the settlement that has been agreed upon by the parties properly protects the legal rights and financial interests of all classes of shareholders.

 Contact Our Miami-Dade County Shareholder Litigation Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are proud to provide experienced legal representation to clients. If you have any questions about a shareholder rights matter, please do not hesitate to contact us today. With a law office in Miami and a law office located in West Palm Beach, our firm handles shareholder litigation throughout the wider region in South Florida.



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