Google agrees settlement with SEC

Google and its general counsel David Drummond have reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the company’s failure to declare $80m in employee stock options prior to its 2004 initial public offering (IPO).

The SEC found that Drummond, acting on advice from his in-house team and external lawyers at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, determined that certain exemptions from stock option grants permitted the company to issue the options without declaring them.

As part of the settlement, Drummond and Google neither admit nor deny the SEC’s findings but they agreed to stop any future securities violations.

Neither the SEC nor Google named Wilson Sonsini but public documents have revealed that they advised on the offering and held a substantial number of shares themselves. Drummond was a partner at Wilson before joining Google.