DiNapoli drops lawsuit after Qualcomm agrees to make political spending public

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Thomas DiNapoli

New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, withdrew its lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc. after the telecommunications company agreed to publicize more information about its political spending, confirmed Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for Thomas DiNapoli, the New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $152.9 billion pension fund.

New York State Common Retirement Fund sued Qualcomm in early January in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington, alleging in the lawsuit that the company hadn't disclosed enough information about political spending “for shareholders to assess the level of risk to their investments in a given company.”

However, on Friday, the pension fund and Qualcomm issued a joint news release saying the pension fund dropped the lawsuit and Qualcomm agreed to provide a revised disclosure policy and place the information on its website.

“Qualcomm will post online the company's contributions to political candidates and political parties, political expenditures to trade associations and Section 501(c)(4) organizations and contributions to influence ballot measures,” the joint news release said.

Qualcomm's new disclosure policy “sets a high standard for transparency in corporate political spending disclosure and the company deserves praise for its actions,” Mr. DiNapoli said in the news release. “This is a significant milestone in greater transparency in corporate political spending.”

Mr. Sumberg said in an interview that the pension fund owns 5.49 million shares of Qualcomm stock worth about $359 million.