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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Google's Schmidt On Apple Board Means Options Problems Are Modest

Stocks: (AAPL)(GOOG)

There is a great deal of speculation about what the CEO of Google would join the board of Apple. Perhaps Google video, the company's program for selling commercial programming online and allowing user-created video to sit on Google's servers and be watched by the whole world, will begin to interoperate with the iPod. Or, maybe iTunes will be put on the Google ToolBar which gets millions of downloads onto PCs across the world.

All speculation.

But, one this is very likely. Apple's options dating problems are not as severe as investors may far. Apple has already received a delisting notice from NASDAQ for filing its 10-Q late, and the company is attempting to release financial statments to the SEC while the NASDAQ review of the listing issue goes on.

It is unimaginable that Schmidt would joint the Apple board without satisfying himself that the options problem, the financial restatement problem, and the Nasdaq listing issue can and will be resolved shortly. Schmidt would not expose himself to the ridicule that would come from joining the corporate board of a company that was about to release even worse news about its options backdating problems and the financial filing issues that go with it.

Whether Apple and Google form any business alliances or not, Schmidt moving to the Apple board means that investors have less to fear from Apple's options problems.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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