Earlier this month, activist investor Carl Icahn issued a formal proposal asking Apple to repurchase $50 billion of its stock to hand back to its shareholders. By then, the businessman had already spent months steadily pressuring Tim Cook to increase the company's payout to investors in the 2014 fiscal year. Apple has now responded in kind. In a proxy statement filed with the SEC on Friday, the Apple board has recommended against Icahn's proposal.

Apple is committed to returning cash to investors

According to the statement, Cupertino is already fully committed to returning cash to its investors. The company increased its share buyback authorization from $45 billion in 2012 to $60 billion this year, and has "executed aggressively" against the program, spending $23 billion repurchasing stock. The board believes that the stewardship over Apple's finances should be handled with care, and that "capital should be returned to shareholders on an efficient and sustained basis."

Icahn's proposal is still on the ballot for Apple's annual shareholders meeting, which, according to the documents, is scheduled for February 28th. Icahn likely won't go down without a fight — he still has two months to court shareholders to his view.