I'm not familiar with SEC regulations regarding buyback plans, but I imagine that J2 cannot do anything which would cause the stock to jump for a period after their buyback. If J2 discontinued their free service, this might improve their margins considerably.
J2's press release states that they will continue their buyback plan until 12/31. They may not be able to cancel their free service for 30 days after that.
"I'm not familiar with SEC regulations regarding buyback plans, but I imagine that J2 cannot do anything which would cause the stock to jump for a period after their buyback."
Totally the wrong idea, brunnock.
Stock buybacks can go on for months. IBM has been periodically buying back stock for long periods over several years (multiple programs).
There is NO regulation concerning buyback programs that prevents a company from making decisions that are in its best interests, including accepting buyout offers at substantial programs.
If your interpretation were correct, no corporation would risk undertaking a buyback program. Such programs would necessarily be confirmations of negative outlooks and a handcuff that would prevent it from taking positive actions to assure its future growth and security as a company.
Stock buyback programs, in fact, mean that a company believes its money is put to its best use in buying back its own underpriced stock. If the stock price rises, perhaps due to a good quarter, then the company may choose temporarily to suspend its program and resume it later if the stock price falls again.
Since you're not familiar with SEC regulations on buyback plans, you have made a bad assumption about SEC restrictions on company future actions.
Aside from that, who says that a cancellation of the free service is necessarily a good thing for J2 to do? Certainly there's a strong argument that it would be, but on the other hand, it can alienate tens of thousands of potential future customers. Slowing (or negative) growth of the subscription base could be a negative consequence of cancellation of the free service program.