Have I mentioned how against it, in its absolute form I am? It has its uses, yes; but defamation should not be one of them. Well, here’s an angle I hadn’t thought of: While libel and trade disparagement lawsuits lie gasping for air, how could I have forgotten the omnipotent powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission?
The chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc. apologized to shareholders on Tuesday for anonymously posting comments about his company on the Internet as the organic and natural foods grocer said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had launched a probe into the matter.
News of the SEC probe comes a week after court documents filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission revealed that Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey posted messages on a Yahoo! chat forum under an alias for years.
In the postings, Mackey talked up his company while predicting a bleak future for Wild Oats Markets Inc., the rival his firm is trying to acquire.
Maybe if the rest of us were publicly-traded issues, the law would protect us from web-based scoundrelry, too.