Shareholder sues IBM for spying on China, wiping $12.9B off its market cap

A pension fund with a large stake in IBM is suing the company for colluding with the NSA and lobbying for the right to spy on Chinese customers. The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund claims that the company's behavior resulted in a $12.9 billion drop in its market cap.

IBM lobbied Congress hard to pass a law letting it share personal data of customers in China and elsewhere with the U.S. National Security Agency, in a bid to protect its intellectual property rights, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The plaintiff in the complaint, Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund, said this threatened IBM hardware sales in China, particularly given a program known as Prism that let the NSA spy on that country through technology companies such as IBM…

…IBM shares fell 6.4 percent on October 17, wiping out $12.9 billion of the Armonk, New York-based company's market value.

Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal [Jonathan Stempel/Reuters]

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