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SEC reviewing Apple disclosures about Jobs' health

A source tells Bloomberg that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are reviewing how Apple Inc.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

http://ceoworld.biz/ceo/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/us-securities-and-exchange-commission.pngA source tells Bloomberg that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are reviewing how Apple Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs' condition went from “relatively simple” to “more complex” in nine days.

A pivotal question for regulators is what Apple’s board knew at the time of Jobs’s Jan. 5 announcement that he had a hormone imbalance and a Jan. 14 statement that he was taking a five-and-a-half month medical leave, said the person, who declined to be identified because the probe is confidential.

The government is believed to be investigating whether or not Jobs’ January disclosures about his health potentially misled investors, according to the source. Bloomberg reported that the SEC probe was opened in January.

“The issue here is: Did Apple or Jobs make misleading disclosures, tested by what they knew at the time?” said Robert Hillman, a securities law professor at the University of California, Davis. “A disclosure could be misleading if it’s a partial truth.”

The piece takes a hard look at corporate governance and whether Apple has made sufficient disclosures to its board and investors about Jobs’s health. Some investors would argue that since Jobs is critical to Apple, his health is material information that needs to be shared with investors, while others argue that federal privacy laws supersede investors’ right to know the details of his health.

Where do you stand on the issue?

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