FORTUNE — We don’t know what Apple’s (AAPL) CEO said to Wall Street’s favorite activist investor at their “meet and tweet” dinner last September — the one where Carl Icahn says he “pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback.”
But on Friday we got the company’s official response — one that was approved, if not drafted, by Tim Cook. It’s buried on p. 62 of a 65-page preliminary proxy statement.
Not surprisingly, the board of directors recommends that shareholders vote AGAINST (emphasis Apple’s) a proposal that would commit the company to repurchasing the amount of shares Icahn wanted — cut after that dinner from $150 billion worth (representing all of Apple’s accumulated cash) to a minimum of $50 billion in 2014.
Even at $50 billion, that’s roughly twice what Apple was already on track to spend in one of the largest buybacks in corporate history.
But Apple’s statement goes further, telling Icahn and the rest of Apple’s investors in no uncertain terms — using language that sounds a lot like the way Tim Cook talks — that Apple is playing in the big leagues and that it knows what it’s doing better than any tweet-writing corporate raider who’s just trying to increase the value of shares he’s owned for less than a year.
After a brief, pro forma paragraph about “seeking input from shareholders,” Apple’s Statement in Opposition to Proposal No. 10 gets serious:
In other words, forget about it Carl. We’ll do what serves our long-term interests, not yours. Meanwhile, we’ve got bigger fish to fry.