As IT companies this side of the Atlantic celebrate Bonfire Night, those in Silicon Valley will be hoping that a piece of Californian legislation goes up in smoke.
Californians are today due to vote on Proposition 211, also known as the Retirements Savings and Consumer Protection Act. The proposal has caused major fireworks in Silicon Valley because, if passed, it would make it easier for shareholders to sue companies if their stock prices change unexpectedly.
For example, if a company promises to ship a product six months from now and then fails to do so, it could be forced to pay damages for any related losses incurred by retirement funds. Its directors could also be personally liable.
The proposal prompted AMD to cancel an analyst meeting it had scheduled for the end of last week. The company cited concerns over Proposition 211, saying it could subject the company to increased risk of stockholder lawsuits.
Ben Anixter, vice president of external affairs at AMD, said: "Our annual analyst meeting has traditionally been a forum at which we attempt to provide insights into future directions of the company. Passage of Proposition 211 would significantly increase the risk of frivolous stockholder lawsuits to any company that makes forward-looking statements."
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