Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and where there’s remarkably convenient stock transactions, there’s insider trading—or so the SEC reportedly says. According to a piece at the Huffington Post, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating potential cases of insider trading related to Apple’s stock.
What apparently got the SEC’s attention is suspicious activity on no fewer than four separate occasions related to key events in Apple’s business in the last year or so. The government agency is reputedly questioning brokerages to obtain names of clients trading in Apple who might have had access to non-public information about the company.
The specific incidents supposedly involve two key pieces of information: sales figures for Apple’s iPod line and issues relating to Steve Jobs’s health. There’s also a second layer, though: whether or not anybody had knowledge of when Apple would release information about these subjects.
News of Jobs’s liver transplant, for example, surfaced in The Wall Street Journal on June 19, just over a week after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, at which the company touted impressive figures for OS X users and its iPhone App Store. The convenient timing—a Friday night after a fairly Apple-positive news cycle—combined with vague attributions of the Journal’s sources led some to suggest that Apple itself had leaked the information.
At present, neither the SEC or Apple have commented on the investigation.