Apple wants to omit four shareholder proposals from discussion at next AGM meeting

Apple’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held in early 2018, and some the company’s activist shareholders want the meeting to debate and vote on climate change and human rights issues. However, the tech giant has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the authority to omit at least four such proposals.

  CEO Tim Cook is pictured at Apple’s 2017 AGM meeting. — Photo courtesy of Reuters.

CEO Tim Cook is pictured at Apple’s 2017 AGM meeting. — Photo courtesy of Reuters.

In letters to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month, an attorney for the California computer maker argued at least four shareholder proposals relate to “ordinary business” and therefore can be left off the proxy Apple is expected to publish early next year, ahead of its annual meeting, reports Reuters.

Apple’s attorney, Gene Levoff, cited guidance issued by the SEC on Nov. 1 saying that company boards are generally best positioned to decide if a resolution raises significant policy issues worth putting to a vote. However, Sanford Lewis, a Massachusetts attorney representing Apple shareholders who had filed two of the resolutions in question, told Reuters that were the SEC to side with Apple, “this would be an incredibly dangerous precedent that would essentially say a great many proposals could be omitted."