According to Overture Services, Inc.’s (formerly Goto.com, Inc.) Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2003, on July 12, 2001, the first of several purported securities class action lawsuits was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York against certain underwriters involved in Overture’s initial public offering, Overture, and certain of Overture’s current and former officers and directors. The Court consolidated the cases against Overture into case number 01 Civ. 6339. Plaintiffs allege, among other things, violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 involving undisclosed compensation to the underwriters, and improper practices by the underwriters, and seek unspecified damages. Similar complaints were filed in the same court against numerous public companies that conducted initial public offerings of their common stock since the mid-1990s. All of these lawsuits were consolidated for pretrial purposes before Judge Shira Scheindlin. On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, alleging Rule 10b-5 claims of fraud. On July 15, 2002, the issuers filed an omnibus motion to dismiss for failure to comply with applicable pleading standards. On October 8, 2002, the Court entered an Order of Dismissal as to all of the individual defendants in the Overture IPO litigation, without prejudice. On February 19, 2003, the Court largely denied the motion to dismiss, including the Rule 10b-5 claims against Overture, and Overture remains a defendant in the case. Overture continues to deny the allegations against it, believes that it has meritorious defenses to the amended complaint, and intends to contest the allegations vigorously. The parties have continued to engage in settlement discussions, and the plaintiffs, insurers, and defendant issuers (including individual officers and directors) are considering a final draft of a settlement memo of understanding.
The complaint charges defendants with violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for issuing a Registration Statement and Prospectus (the "Prospectus") that contained materially false and misleading information and failed to disclose material information. The Prospectus was issued in connection with GoTo.com's initial public offering of 6,000,000 shares of common stock at $15.00 per share that was completed on or about June 18, 1999. The complaint alleges that the Prospectus was false and misleading because it failed to disclose (i) the Underwriter Defendants' agreement with certain investors to provide them with significant amounts of restricted GoTo.com shares in the IPO in exchange for exorbitant and undisclosed commissions; and (ii) the agreement between the Underwriter Defendants and certain of its customers whereby the Underwriter Defendants would allocate shares in the IPO to those customers in exchange for the customers' agreement to purchase GoTo.com shares in the after-market at pre-determined prices. The SEC is investigating underwriting practices in connection with several other initial public offerings, including the offerings of VA Linux Systems, Inc., Ariba Inc. and United Parcel Service, Inc. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those who purchased or otherwise acquired GoTo.com securities during the Class Period.