Ericsson ‘broke stock exchange rules’

An initial investigation by the Stockholm stock exchange has found that Ericsson broke its listing agreement with the exchange by inappropriately making public price-sensitive information.

The case stems from an analysts’ conference held in New York on November 21st in which Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg surprised investors with unexpected news about the company’s weak fourth quarter sales performance.

Ericsson’s stock fell 11 percent on the news.

According to the stock exchange, the news constituted price sensitive information and should therefore have been disclosed according to procedures outlined in the exchange’s listing agreement with Ericsson.

As a result of Ericsson’s failure to disclose the information appropriately, the Stockholm exchange has referred the case to its Disciplinary Committee for further evaluation.

Ericsson’s spokesperson Åse Lindskog says that the company is satisfied with the way the case is being handled.

“We believe that we and the exchange have different interpretations of the issue and we look forward to having the case heard,” she said.

If the Disciplinary Committee agrees with the initial finding that Ericsson broke its listing agreement with the exchange, it can choose from three different sanctions: a warning, a fine or delisting from the exchange. The fines that may be imposed range from the equivalent of one to fifteen years worth of annual fees.