Veritas pays $30m to settle SEC case

The price Symantec paid for Veritas just went up by millions, as the company agrees a settlement with the SEC to resolve a dispute over advertising

Advertising is usually pricey but for Veritas it has turned out particularly expensive. The company announced on Friday that it would be handing over $30m (£15.2m) to The US Securities and Exchange Commission following an advertising deal that apparently went wrong.

The settlement  "arose from an AOL (America Online) transaction and the Veritas 2004 financial restatement", the company said in a statement. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had imposed the penalty over a dispute in which Veritas had allegedly exchanged advertising with AOL against payments for its software.

The two companies were accused of trading advertising for software products, but then both entered the transactions as actual sales in their accounts — although these accounts were later restated. Although Veritas has now agreed to pay the fine, it has not admitted that the allegations were true.

The deal came about after Symantec had purchased Veritas in 2004 for $13.5bn. According to Symantec, it was not itself named in the current complaint with the SEC, which just involves Veritas.

Veritas is also embroiled in another, much larger complaint involving its Irish subsidiary over a similar dispute for the 2001 and 2000 tax years. The amount under dispute is $900m.

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