Qualcomm sued for not disclosing political contributions
New York, NY, United States (4E) – In an attempt to force Qualcomm Inc. to reveal its spending on political donations, New York’s public pension fund filed a lawsuit against the wireless-technology company on Thursday, alleging that it declined to disclose information related to political donations despite formal requests made by institutional investors.
The lawsuit was publicly announced by the Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington. It was filed by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which seeks to gain access to the company’s books hoping it could provide answers on whether the political campaign contributions made by the company are in the best interests of shareholders.
Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller at the same time oversees the New York State Common Retirement Fund, said Qualcomm has resisted disclosing details of the amount it spent on political causes, and even denied requests made by the fund to inspect their records on such spending.
Legal experts say that the lawsuit could have a major effect on corporate political contributions should it succeed. The fund is invoking Delaware law requiring specific corporate disclosures to see how much Qualcomm donated in the last election campaign.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the country’s third-largest public institutional investor with $150bn in assets. It is also Qualcomm’s biggest public pension fund investor holding a $378mn stake in the company, according to the complaint.