Apple is not impressed by ‘silly sideshow’ of a lawsuit by investors

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You’d think that as CEO, Tim Cook would be seriously concerned if Apple shareholders sued the company. But it seems that Cook is downplaying the recent legal attempts by Greenlight Capital to prevent Apple from instituting new rules that require a common shareholder vote to issue preferred stock, calling the suit a “silly sideshow”.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the suit, lead by Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn, argues that the changes Apple proposes would violate US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, as they bundle the preferred stock provision together with other items.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference yesterday, Cook made his views on the lawsuit quite clear, saying it was “not a seminal issue for Apple”. “I think it would be a lot better use of funds to donate that time and money to a worthy cause,” he said. “I find it bizarre we would find ourselves being sued for doing something that’s good for shareholders.”

Apple has previously said it plans to pay back some US$45-billion of its US$137-billion in cash reserves to shareholders over the next three years through shareholder dividends and buying back stock. But Einhorn’s company wants Apple to instead issue a preferred type of stock so shareholders would receive more of that cash in dividends.

Legal concerns and shareholders weren’t the only topics Cook touched on during his time at the conference: he also revealed that Apple has paid back even more money to developers — around US$1-billion more since January, to be exact. As The Next Web reports, Apple has now paid US$8-billion to app developers to date, up from the US7-billion figure that was announced on 7 January this year.

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