Gateway escapes threat of criticism

POWAY, CA: Gateway managed to avoid controversy when it recently unveiled a two-year-old SEC investigation.

POWAY, CA: Gateway managed to avoid controversy when it recently unveiled a two-year-old SEC investigation.

In a November 14 press release entitled "Gateway files form 10-Q certifying financial results, notes other legal matters," the only legal matter Gateway noted was the SEC investigation, which began in December 2000.

"The company is fully cooperating with the SEC. (The) investigation appears to be focused on past activities, and not current operations," stated the release.

The investigation began the same month class-action securities lawsuits were filed. In February 2001, Gateway restated results for 2000, and settled the lawsuits earlier this year.

Brad Shaw, Gateway's SVP of marketing and corporate communications, said the company waited two years to disclose the investigation in an "effort to be as candid as possible," while considering a complex internal mix of financial and legal issues.

The Monday after Gateway issued the release, The Wall Street Journal used Gateway to lead off a story on consumer electronics on page one of its Marketplace section. The investigation was in the corner of page B4.

"We're staying highly visible, and being open and candid" said Shaw.

"While the first question the media asks is about the investigation, we've been able to move past it fairly quickly."

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