Such practices are frowned upon by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Apple's practice of backdating stock options began in 1997 and continued into January 2002.
Under previous regulations, corporations could wait 45 days or, in some cases, over a year to report options, thus providing ample time for backdating.
Other similar practices are being reviewed by government officials as well.
The backdating problem was first highlighted by Professor Erik Lie of the University of Iowa, who published his initial study in 2004.
Those filings, like Apple's, were delayed by investigations into backdating.
All three companies will be forced to restate earnings for the periods in question, which can be a laborious and time-consuming process.
It is possible that Apple could face more than a slap on the hand from the SEC, as in some instances, backdating and springloading options can result in criminal charges of fraud.
Its revenue and share price have both risen dramatically in recent years.
The SEC statement does not preclude additional action against individuals, said Marc Fagel, associate regional SEC director in San Francisco."Shortly after the Board approved the 7.5 million option grant, Jobs expressed dissatisfaction with its vesting schedule," the complaint said of the period after August 2001.