BlackBerry BB-T said on Thursday it had agreed to pay US$165-million to settle a more than eight-year-old class action lawsuit brought against it for allegedly defrauding shareholders by exaggerating BlackBerry 10 smartphone’s success and profitability.
Under the agreement, which requires a judge’s approval, the payment will be made to settle claims brought on behalf of those who bought the company’s shares between March 28, 2013, and Sept. 20, 2013.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the company was planning to settle the lawsuit to avoid trial in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan federal court granted a request from the company’s lawyers and shareholders to adjourn their planned trial to negotiate a preliminary settlement.
Shareholders accused the company of concealing BlackBerry 10′s true sales prospects in public statements during 2013, resulting in an inflated share price.
Lawsuits accusing companies of misleading shareholders are common in the United States, but few go to trial.
While the BlackBerry 10 won positive reviews from critics, it never caught on with the public, which preferred Android-based smartphones and Apple Inc.’s iPhones, which led to BlackBerry’s decision to stop making phones in 2016.
The Canadian company now has shifted focus to cybersecurity and making embedded operating systems widely used in cars.
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