IBM investigated by SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating IBM's bookkeeping methods, the company said Monday.

The SEC is looking for information regarding the Armonk, New York, computer company's recognition of revenue in 2000 or 2001, according to a statement released by IBM.

An SEC spokesman declined to comment on IBM's statement, saying that the agency's staff cannot confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigations. However, IBM did offer some details on the probe.

The company said that it believes that the investigation is related to a separate investigation of one of its Retail Store Solutions unit customers. That IBM unit sells point-of-sale technology such as cash registers, kiosks, printers and bar-code scanners to grocery stores, food services companies and other retail companies.

IBM did not identify the customer.

In its communication with IBM, the SEC characterized its inquiry as a "fact-finding investigation," IBM said. IBM's business and accounting policies comply with "applicable regulations," the company said, adding that it is cooperating fully with the SEC investigation.

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