On one of his biannual visit to London, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, yesterday said the software giant was in favour of treating stock options as a business expense, even though it would knock $2bn (£1.3bn) a year off its profits.
But Ballmer said an industry-wide approach was needed.
The International Accounting Standards board, headed Sir David Tweedie, is due to issue a draft rule this autumn on the topic. A backlash from technology companies is however expected.
Already General Electric, Computer Associates and Amazon.com and a host of others have decided to book stock options as an expense in their annual accounts.
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