Originally Posted by PatNY
How so in cases such as this regarding a potential incorrect assertion of fact?
I assume you agree that there are a great many facts about any company which, if known, would significantly affect stock price. I assume you also agree that knowledge of many of these would give advantage to a competitor.
A expectation that incorrect rumours will be denied gives a competitor the ability to go fishing for such facts, and the ability (through absence of denial) to infer which of those facts are true.
As a (very poor :-) ) example, let's say I'm an Apple competitor and interested to know if Tim Cook is leaving - I simply start a rumour saying that inside sources report that he is leaving. This meets your criteria - it's a statement of fact and it would affect stock price. With your approach, Apple would be forced to confirm or deny this.
A similar approach could have been taken in the past with regard to Steve Jobs' health.
There are lots of other things in different areas which would also be interesting - even in the case of the rumours in question, don't you think that knowing whether or not they are true is of interest to Apple's competitors?