Nasdaq raises compensation for Facebook IT failure
According to reports, the compensation plan will be unveiled by the exchange next week
By Derek du Preez | Computerworld UK | Published 09:45, 23 July 12
The boards of the Nasdaq OMX Group and the Nasdaq stock market are set to unveil a compensation plan for brokerages that suffered losses during the technical glitch that hit Facebook's initial public offering.
The new compensation proposed for next week could be as high as $100 million (£64 million), more than the $40 million that was originally put forward by the exchange, but still significantly short of the $350 million reported losses, sources told the FOX Business channel.
The IPO was riddled with technical problems, which led to a delay of 30 minutes on share trades being processed. The problem stemmed from Nasdaq’s IPO Cross, a pre-IPO auction process that the exchange put in place in 2006 that allows traders to place orders and agree on an IPO price before the stock is officially launched, which couldn’t handle the trading demand.
This led to a number of brokerages suffering financial losses after losing out on half an hour of trading and not receiving up-to-date information.
Nasdaq originally revealed that it had earmarked $13.7 million (£8.8 million) for compensation, but later said that it would add to its $13.7 million compensation by offering brokerages reduced trading costs, to bring compensation fees up to $40 million.
However, Nasdaq’s compensation plans have not been well received within the financial industry up until this point. Knight Capital, one of Wall Street’s largest trading firms that suffered losses during the IPO debacle, has blasted the compensation as paltry and has hinted that it might take legal action.
Furthermore, operating rival New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has released a statement claiming that if the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) were to approve the plans that this would result in unfair practice and equate to the industry subsidising Nasdaq’s mistakes.
“We believe it would be wholly inconsistent with fair practice and an undue burden on competition to allow Nasdaq to use pricing and other machination as a guise for fairly compensating those impacted by the Facebook IPO issues," said NYSE.
“Such a tactic would potentially strongly incentivise customers to divert order flow to Nasdaq in order to receive compensation to which they are entitled, and allow Nasdaq to reap benefit from market share gains they would not have otherwise received.”
Furthermore, it was revealed last month that even though Nasdaq has already selected IBM to conduct a review of the current state of processes for designing, developing, testing, deploying and operating market systems, the SEC may also order Nasdaq to revamp its processes for developing, changing, testing and implementing the computer code used in IPOs and other exchange functions.
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