On February 28, 2002, an order was entered to consolidate the IPO cases into one with the case number 01-CV-8404. In addition, an omnibus order was entered on April 19, 2002 to approve the appointment of a certain individual as lead plaintiff and the selection of lead counsel, whereas all other motions were denied. At the same time, an amended complaint was also filed. An order substituting Arnold & Porter LLP in the place of Dorsey & Whitney LLP as the attorneys of record for the defendant RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc. was entered on April 13, 2005. On November 14, 2007, a motion of underwriter defendants’ motion to dismiss was filed. Lastly, an order was entered on May 06, 2008, which granted and denied in part the motions of the underwriters and certain issuers named in the focus cases to dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Complaints.
According to a Press Release dated September 10, 2001, the complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws by issuing and selling Engage Technologies common stock pursuant to the July 19, 1999 IPO without disclosing to investors that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead underwriters, had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain investors. Specifically, the complaint alleges that in exchange for the excessive commissions, defendants allocated Engage Technologies shares to customers at the IPO price. To receive the allocations (i.e., the ability to purchase shares) at the IPO price, the underwriters' brokerage customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at progressively higher prices. The requirement that customers make additional purchases at progressively higher prices as the price of Engage Technologies stock rocketed upward (a practice known on Wall Street as ``laddering'') was intended to (and did) drive Engage Technologies' share price up to artificially high levels. This artificial price inflation enabled both the underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at the IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices.