Apple reaches $490 million settlement over CEO Cook’s China sales comments

By Thomson Reuters Mar 15, 2024 | 7:29 AM

(Reuters) – Apple has reached a $490 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit that alleged Chief Executive Tim Cook defrauded shareholders by concealing falling demand for iPhones in China.

A preliminary settlement was filed on Friday with the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, and requires a judge’s approval.

The lawsuit stemmed from Cook’s comment on a Nov. 1, 2018, analyst call that although Apple faced sales pressure in markets such as Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey, where currencies had weakened, “I would not put China in that category.”

On Jan. 2, 2019, Apple unexpectedly cut its quarterly revenue forecast by up to $9 billion, blaming U.S.-China trade tensions. Its shares fell 10% the next day, wiping out about $74 billion of market value.

Apple and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)