Report: Nasdaq To File Plan With SEC Wednesday On Compensation After Facebook IPO Glitch

By David Cohen 

The embattled Nasdaq stock exchange will make its initial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday regarding steps it will take to compensate investors who lost money on Facebook’s initial public offering due to technical issues, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Wednesday’s filing will contain details on how Nasdaq intends to make up for the more than $100 million in losses suffered by banks and traders.

Facebook’s IPO launched Friday, May 18, and Nasdaq announced on the next business day, Monday, May 21, that it would set aside at least $13 million to compensate the affected entities, with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority charged with overseeing the process of distributing the funds.

The $13 million figure cited by Nasdaq included $10.7 million the exchange gained from its own unexpected position in Facebook shares on the day of the IPO, as well as its standing $3 million cap on compensation payable to customers that lose money due to system outages, according to the Journal, which added that any additional payouts would come straight from Nasdaq.

The heat was turned up on the exchange that Friday, May 25, when reports surfaced that the software Nasdaq used to launch the Facebook IPO was untested, that it still had bugs, and that the exchange had run an “unprecedented” number of simulations with the software prior to the IPO.

As a result of the technical glitches, many firms did not know the outcomes of their orders until more than two hours after trading in Facebook started, a half-hour late, the Journal reported.

The newspaper added that the revealing of Nasdaq’s payback plan has been delayed by regulators that were concerned about the ability of exchanges to compensate customers due to faulty technology, as well as by rival exchanges, which were fearful of a precedent being set.

Readers: How much of a financial hit do you think Nasdaq will take when all is said and done?

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