Pension Funds Say Yahoo Trying to Conceal Evidence

May 19, 2008 ( - An attorney representing two Detroit pension funds in a suit against Yahoo complained Friday that Yahoo is trying to hide evidence.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in a letter to the judge handling the suit, attorney Joel Friedlander said the company’s redaction of large parts of the case is intended to hide evidence that could bolster an effort begun this week by investor activist Carl Icahn to oust Yahoo’s board.

The concealed documents discuss a severance plan Yahoo’s board approved soon after Microsoft’s bid on January 31, which critics have said was intended to make a takeover prohibitively expensive.

Notes of a meeting between Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer were also redacted, according to the Chronicle. The news report said Friedlander told Chancellor William Chandler that Yahoo is trying to “sanitize the public record” and keep a “cloak of secrecy regarding unflattering evidence” that it ignored shareholder interests.

A hearing on a request to unseal the documents has been scheduled for Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed in Delaware Chancery Court by lawyers representing Detroit’s police and fire retirement system and general retirement system, as well as “all other similarly situated public shareholders.” The suit accuses Yahoo’s board of rebuffing the bid to save their jobs, among other things (See Detroit Pension Funds Sue Yahoo).