Nokia responds to claims of fraud, says "Nuh-uh!"
That didn’t take too long – just hours after it was reported that Nokia is being sued by a group of investors for fraud over their exclusive move to the Windows Phone platform, and look what has fallen into our mailbox; Nokia has sent out a press release that responds to the fraud allegations with a curt “no way”. Their exact words are:
Stock exchange release
May 4, 2012 at 16.50 (CET+1)
Espoo, Finland - Nokia has become aware of the filing of a securities class action complaint naming Nokia Corporation as a defendant, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 3, 2012. Nokia is reviewing the allegations contained in the complaint and believes that they are without merit. Nokia will defend itself against the complaint.
That's the entirety of their response, and it seems pretty straight forward. What’s interesting about this concise denial is that it was accompanied by a 1,355 word “forward-looking statements” disclaimer, which is more than twenty times as long as the body of their denial. Some choice quotes from their disclaimer are below:
It should be noted that certain statements herein that are
not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including, without
limitation, those regarding:
A) the expected plans and benefits of our partnership with Microsoft to bring together complementary assets and expertise to form a global mobile ecosystem for smartphones
D) our ability to innovate, develop, execute and
commercialize new technologies, products and services
F) expectations and targets regarding our industry volumes, market share, prices, net sales and margins of our products and services
K) statements preceded by "believe,"
"expect," "anticipate," "foresee,"
"target," "estimate," "designed,"
"aim", "plans," "will" or similar expressions.
These statements are based on management's best assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Because they involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from the results that we currently expect.
Factors that could cause these differences include, but are
not limited to…
…our ability to make Nokia products with Windows Phone a competitive choice for consumers, and together with Microsoft, our success in encouraging and supporting a competitive and profitable global ecosystem for Windows Phone smartphones that achieves sufficient scale, value and attractiveness to all market participants
…our ability to protect numerous patented standardized or proprietary technologies from third-party infringement or actions to invalidate the intellectual property rights of these technologies
And it concludes (after another thousand or so words) with:
Nokia does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.
There is nothing in there we would really disagree with, and most companies these days include some form of boilerplate
to protect themselves in the event that their statements turn out not to be
true, but this has to be the longest and most specific CYA list we’ve seen in a
long time. Moreover, the only forward-looking statement in the original message is
that they intend to defend themselves against the complaint.
We’ll let you make of that what you will, but it seems like a they were using a sledgehammer to crack the proverbial walnut here…unless they feel that past disclaimers were insufficient and they hope that this new and “improved” version can help form the basis of their defense.