Apple and iPhone

Norfolk County Council Triumphs Over Apple in £385m iPhone Dispute

In a landmark settlement, tech giant Apple has agreed to pay $490 million (£385 million) to resolve a lawsuit spearheaded by Norfolk County Council, alleging fraud by Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, over iPhone sales figures in China.

The class-action lawsuit, led by Norfolk County Council on behalf of investors, accused Tim Cook of misleading shareholders by concealing lower iPhone demand in China. Norfolk Council’s pension fund, which administers investments for numerous families and individuals, suffered financial losses due to the alleged actions of Apple’s leadership.

Expressing satisfaction with the outcome, the Norfolk Pension Fund emphasized its commitment to safeguarding the investments entrusted to it. The fund stated, “We are very proud of this recovery for investors,” underscoring its responsibility to take decisive action against fraud that harms participants’ investments.

The lawsuit centered on statements made by Tim Cook to investors in November 2018, where he downplayed concerns about iPhone sales in China. However, Apple subsequently revised its revenue forecast in January 2019, attributing the decline to escalating trade tensions between the US and China. This announcement led to a significant drop in Apple’s stock price.

Investors who purchased Apple shares between November 2018 and January 2019 alleged that they suffered financial losses based on misleading assurances from Tim Cook. The case was initially brought by the US city of Roseville, with Norfolk Council assuming the lead plaintiff role in 2020.

While Apple contested the litigation, the preliminary settlement – filed in the US District Court in Oakland, California – averts a trial slated for later this year, pending judicial approval. The resolution marks a significant victory for Norfolk County Council and investors affected by the alleged misconduct.

Although the exact portion of the settlement allocated to Norfolk County Council remains undisclosed, the substantial payout represents a substantial financial resolution for the impacted investors. For Apple, the settlement amounts to a fraction of its annual net income, highlighting the significance of the case against one of the world’s wealthiest companies.

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