On September 5, 2007, the Court issued the Opinion and Order No. 95140. According to the Order, U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan certified the class action and approved the settlement, approved the Plan of Allocation and finalized the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses. On September 19, 2007, the Court entered the Order and Final Judgment for In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484.
According to the Notice of Settlement for In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484, dated March 19, 2007, this case, In re Merrill Lynch & Co. InfoSpace Analyst Reports Sec. Litig., 01-CV-6881(JFK), is part of a proposed settlement of $125 million in cash. A settlement hearing will be held before the Honorable John F. Keenan, United States District Judge of the Southern District of New York to determine whether the settlement should be approved.
On December 30, 2004, the Court entered the Minute Order in the case 01-CV-6881, signed by Judge Michael B. Mukasey, administratively closing the case pursuant to Memorandum from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts dated June 15th, 1973.
On November 7, 2001, the Court entered the Order granting the motion appointing lead plaintiff and approving his selection of Shapiro Haber and Umry LLP to serve as lead counsel. On December 7, 2001, an Amended Compliant was filed. On January 7, 2001, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. On May 6, 2002, the Court entered Pretrial Order No. 1 transferring and consolidating similar actions with this Conte Action, In Re Merrill Lynch Infospace Analyst Reports Securities Litigation. In October 2002, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted the Merrill Lynch Defendants’ motion to transfer all such cases to the Southern District of New York for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. The cases were transferred to the Honorable Milton Pollack, Senior United States District Judge, and were coordinated under the caption In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484. On May 31, 2002, a Second Amended Complaint was filed, and a Third Amended Complaint was filed on March 13, 2003. On December 8, 2003, the defendants again filed a motion to dismiss.
The original complaint alleges that Merrill Lynch and Blodget violated the federal securities laws because their analyst reports were false and deceptive. Particularly, the Complaint alleges that this action arises as a result of the issuance by the Defendants of analyst reports regarding InfoSpace, which recommended the purchase of InfoSpace common stock and which set price targets for InfoSpace common stock, without any reasonable factual basis. Furthermore, when issuing their InfoSpace reports, the Defendants failed to disclose significant, material conflicts of interest which they had, in light of their use of Blodget's reputation and his InfoSpace analyst reports, to obtain investment banking business for Merrill Lynch. Furthermore, in issuing their InfoSpace reports, in which they were recommending the purchase of InfoSpace stock, the Defendants failed to disclose material, non-public, adverse information which they possessed about InfoSpace.
The Complaint further alleges that throughout the Class Period, the Defendant maintained an "ACCUMULATE/BUY" or a "BUY/BUY" recommendation on InfoSpace in order to obtain and support a lucrative financial deal for Merrill Lynch. Unbeknownst to the investing public, Merrill Lynch was seeking to be, and then was, retained as a financial adviser for another Internet company, Go2Net, Inc. ("Go2Net"), in connection with InfoSpace's acquisition of Go2Net. Pursuant to the terms of its engagement as Go2Net's financial advisor, Merrill Lynch received between $6 million and $10 million in fees, which were contingent upon the consummation of the merger.
On November 5, 2001, the Court appointed Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP as Lead Counsel to represent the class and the Court appointed Mr. Conte as Lead Plaintiff. On December 6, 2001, Lead Counsel filed an amended complaint which provided extensive, detailed support for the allegations that the Defendants' analyst reports regarding internet companies were false and deceptive.
Aether Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: AETH)
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN)
AOL (NYSE: AOL)
Barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN)
Bottomline Technologies (Nasdaq: EPAY)
Buy.com (Nasdaq: BUYX)
CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI)
DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK)
EarthWeb (Nasdaq: EWBX)
eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY)
eToys (Nasdaq: ETYS )
Excite@home (Nasdaq: ATHM)
Exodus Communications (Nasdaq: EXDS)
Freemarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT)
GoTo.com (Nasdaq: OVER)
Homestore.com (Nasdaq: HOMSE)
InfoSpace, Inc. (Nasdaq: INSP)
Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT)
Interliant (Nasdaq: INIT)
Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE)
iVillage (Nasdaq: IVIL)
iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq: IIXL)
Looksmart (Nasdaq: LOOK)
Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS)
Multex (Nasdq: MLTX)
Mypoints.com (Nasdaq: MYPT)
Openwave Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV)
Pets.com (Nasdaq: IPET)
Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN)
Quokka Sports (Nasdaq: QKKA)
Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE)
Software.com (Nasdaq: SWCM)
Verticalnet, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT)
Webvan (Nasdaq: WBVN)
Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO)
24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM)
NOTE: The Class Period shown below begins on December 6, 1999, the date when the Defendants "initiated coverage" of and issued their first analyst report on InfoSpace. The Class Period ends on June 26, 2000, the day the merger of InfoSpace and Go2Net was announced.