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Wednesday, 24 November 2010 13:05

Regulators investigating “insider dealing” at Apple

Written by Nick Farell

Pushing up share prices

US regulators are looking at allegations that insiders in Apple boosted the price of the outfits shares by talking to analysts. According to the Wall Street Journal World federal prosecutors have begun to home in on insider-trading cases that appear to involve routinely published information about public-company supply chains.

Apple has seen a number of well-known and obscure analysts and "expert networks" report every detail of the company's undisclosed production plans which have pushed up the company's share price. It is a change of the definition of the word “insider trading” which used to mean that a person inside the company and knew it was about to do something that would effect the share price would buy or sell shares for a quick buck.

A major insider-trading investigation includes an examination of small research firms including Broadband Research in Portland, run by John Kinnucan. He insists that he has done nothing wrong. However small research outfits such as Kinnucan's often rely on data from manufacturers' representatives to technology companies to gauge how a business is performing.

This data is vital to Apple traders, who have been getting a weekly reports from channel checks about Apple's iPad and iPod businesses. Prosecutors' are looking at how analysts as well as expert network firms has left investors wary about how to research stocks.

Nick Farell

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