It looks like quite a few Apple Shareholders are upset at not being better informed about Steve Jobs' health. In fact some are considering legal action.
Apple has always been notoriously tight lipped about the goings on at the main cult office. However, the withholding of health information on the one person linked to the company's success might be going too far.
Over the years we have watched Apple's stocks go up and down with each new rumor about Steve's health, as of Wednesday the cat was fully out of the bag. Jobs admitted that his health problem was more complex and serious that he originally thought (or disclosed) and would be taking a six-month medical leave. Once that announcement was out Apple's stock value dropped nearly $10 Billion US Dollars.
The question now is did Apple have an obligation to disclose this information to the shareholders earlier.
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald
Since last June, when an unusually thin Jobs addressed a gathering of software developers, rumours or disclosures about the charismatic CEO's health have sent the stock surging or falling. On the December day after Apple disclosed Jobs would not appear at the Macworld trade show as he normally does, $US5.5 billion in shareholder wealth vanished.
Most of those losses were restored when Jobs said on January 5 that he had a treatable hormone imbalance. But then came Jobs' announcement yesterday that his medical issues were "more complex" than he believed the previous week. Jobs, 53, said he was taking leave until the end of June - and nearly $US10 billion in market value was wiped out.
The key question facing Apple's legal team now will be whether Jobs' and Apple's disclosures revealed enough at each step.
"This is just the nightmare scenario" for Apple lawyers, said Sean O'Connor, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law.
The reason is that Apple - like any publicly traded company - is required by law to disclose all sorts of details.
Much of that information is formulaic and issued regularly, like quarterly earnings and top executives' salaries. But there's also something of a wild-card category - "material" information - which lumps together everything a reasonable investor would want to know because it could affect a decision to buy or sell a company's stock. (There are exceptions, such as for trade secrets.)