Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Abandoned: After months of pressuring Apple (AAPL) to return more money to shareholders by buying back more AAPL stock, activist investor Carl Icahn is apparently throwing in the towel, Reuters notes. On Monday, the billionaire who routinely battles corporate boards sent a letter to Apple shareholders saying that he was withdrawing a non-binding shareholder proposal meant to urge Apple to raise its existing share repurchase program by another $50 billion. Icahn’s move came after the Institutional Shareholder Service (ISS) issued a recommendation against the proposal on Sunday. ISS expressed a negative view of the proposal, which it warned could “micromanage” Apple’s financial decisions. Icahn noted that the ISS had chided Apple for being “sluggish” about returning money to investors, but also said that Apple was “close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target.” Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had spent $14 billion to buy back shares after AAPL stock fell sharply in the wake of disappointing quarterly iPhone sales. Icahn took a significant stake in Apple last year, and has added to his stake in the months since. He met with Cook in September to discuss his demands for a larger share buyback.
Denied: U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh has shot down a request for a new trial in the on-going patent litigation between Samsung and Apple, AppleInsider notes. A California jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple patents in 2012 and awarded Apple $1 billion in damages. The court later reduced that to $600 million and held a second trial last summer to determine additional damages. The second jury awarded Apple another $290 million in damages. In its request, Samsung accused Apple’s legal team of stoking racial and national prejudices during their arguments. Apple lawyers had contended that Apple had to zealously defend its patents or face a situation similar to U.S. TV makers, who were ultimately run out of the electronics business by overseas competitors. Samsung requested a mistrial over the argument, but that was denied at the time. In her latest ruling, the judge said she could find no evidence that “problematic” statements by Apple’s lawyers had any impact on the jury’s decision.
Withdrawn: On Friday, LinkedIn (LNKD) said it would drop its Intro email feature, which embedded LinkedIn profiles into email sent to iPhone users, the Wall Street Journal noted. The feature — which let iPhone users view profile information, including job titles and photos, within emails — debuted late last year. Critics claimed it made users more vulnerable to hacking. LinkedIn has placed information on how to remove Intro from iPhones on its website.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.