NEW YORK May 5 An IBM Corp shareholder
has voluntarily ended a lawsuit accusing the company of
concealing how its cooperation with a National Security Agency
spying program cost it business in China and led to a nearly $13
billion plunge in the company's market value.
The dismissal follows "an extensive additional investigation
into the matters alleged, which included investigations
conducted in the United States and China, as well as information
obtained through discussions with defense counsel," John Browne,
a lawyer for lead plaintiff Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief
Fund in Baton Rouge, said in a letter made public on Monday.
It was not immediately clear what the investigation
uncovered or what the information contained. Browne, a partner
at Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossmann, declined to comment.
IBM shares fell 6.4 percent last Oct. 17, wiping out $12.9
billion of market value, a day after the company posted
disappointing quarterly revenue, including drops in China of 22
percent in sales and 40 percent in hardware sales.
According to the complaint, IBM lobbied Congress to pass a
law letting it share the personal data of its customers in China
with the NSA to help protect its intellectual property rights.
But after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the
agency's "Prism" surveillance program, which used information
from technology companies such as IBM, the company concealed how
his disclosures caused Chinese businesses and China's government
to abruptly cut ties, the complaint said.
The lawsuit also named Chief Executive Virginia Rometty and
former Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge as defendants.
In a statement on Monday, IBM spokesman Douglas Shelton
said: "We said the complaint proceeded to make numerous specious
and false accusations, and IBM called upon the law firm that
filed this action to do the right thing and dismiss it. We are
pleased that they have done the right thing."
IBM's full name is International Business Machines Corp.
The case is Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund v.
International Business Machines Corp et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 13-08818.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre