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PwC Cleared in Rambus Securities Fraud Case

By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger

A shareholders’ claim against PwC and Rambus, a tech firm, has been dismissed in a California appeals court. The decision, given on Friday, is the result of a battle between the firms and shareholders over whether executives had committed securities fraud. The case had been dismissed in federal court, and now shareholders have lost their appeal.

Previously, Rambus had lost an antirtust lawsuit that caused its shares to plunge after a jury denied the firm’s antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor. In that case, Rambus accused the firms of making Rambus suffer losses of $4 billion. Shares plummeted to a major loss on the news. That was the most recent in a string of patent and antitrust suits that the firm has levied against competitors, which has given it a reputation as a “patent troll” in the semiconductor and computer memory industry. More recently, a USPTO appeals board invalidated three of the firm’s patents, limiting its ability to make further lawsuits in the future.

As the firm’s independent auditor, PwC was accused of failing to do due diligence regarding Rambus’s executive decisions in auditing the firm. Now that the California appeals court has ruled, those accusations have been dismissed twice in United States courts.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008, and listed amongst its accusations that Rambus offered backdated stock options to its employees.

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