Comms chips

SEC Crusade Continues

5:50 PM -- Another Valley company has settled with the SEC over stock options.

This time it's analog-chip maker Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (Nasdaq: MXIM), which, like Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), settled without admitting guilt or paying a fine. (See Juniper Settles, SEC Charges.)

Paraphrasing a conversation I've had with an SEC representative, this is the agency's way of saying it believes the company is guilty but doesn't think it's worth the effort to wring a fine out of them. Companies do have to pledge not to break the law -- which doesn't sound so strict, but it raises the stakes on any future infractions.

The SEC got a similar settlement out of former Maxim CEO John Gifford, but he also paid $800,000 in penalties and "disgorged earnings," as this report puts it.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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