Network vendor chiefs sign SEC statements

All the major networking companies that were supposed to actually did meet this week's deadline to file sworn statements from their CEOs and CFOs that their companies' most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are accurate.

The likes of Apple Computer Inc., AT&T Corp., Intel Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and SBC Communications Inc. filed the Aug. 14 statements that the SEC required as a way to lock in personal responsibility for the SEC filings. The sworn statements were also an effort to restore investor confidence in large corporations after shady accounting practices forced WorldCom Inc. and Enron Corp. to declare bankruptcy.

WorldCom filed a statement that said an SEC investigation of its affairs prevented its current CEO and CFO from filing the sworn statements. Qwest Communications International Inc., also under SEC investigation, filed a similar statement.

Other major companies such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. face later deadlines because of the way they define their fiscal years. These new filings are required of the 947 publicly owned U.S. companies that take in more than US$1.2 billion per year.

Some of these large businesses filed information that set them apart from the standard filing. For instance, AOL Time Warner Inc. said it is reworking some of its figures to correct what might amount to a $49 million misstatement of revenues.

Companies that fail to file face a range of potential penalties from fines to criminal charges, but the SEC says it will decide the appropriate action case-by-case.

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