Qualcomm Agrees to Political Spending Disclosure
Qualcomm Inc. and the New York State Common Retirement Fund have reached a settlement of a lawsuit the fund filed against the company on January 2, 2013. Under the settlement, Qualcomm will implement a political spending disclosure policy that will provide stockholders with “comprehensive information regarding its corporate political spending.” Qualcomm will post online the company’s contributions to political candidates and political parties, political expenditures to trade associations and Section 501(c)(4) organizations, and contributions to influence ballot measures.
The full policy is available at http://investor.qualcomm.com/governance.cfm).
“Qualcomm agrees with the New York State Common Retirement Fund that increased transparency for election-related activities by corporations is very beneficial,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, the CEO and Chairman of Qualcomm. “While Qualcomm has been developing a new policy on disclosure of political expenditures for some time, engaging with the Common Retirement Fund has been helpful.”
“Qualcomm’s disclosure policy sets a high standard for transparency in corporate political spending disclosure and the company deserves praise for its actions,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the fund. ”This is a significant milestone in greater transparency in corporate political spending.”
“Qualcomm’s new disclosure policy puts it near the top of the CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Accountability and Disclosure,” said Karl Sandstrom, former Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission and General Counsel of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Political Accountability. “With this new policy, Qualcomm will become a standard bearer for corporations looking to provide stockholders with transparency with respect to its political spending.”
Qualcomm’s action may lead other large companies to consider adopting a similar policy.