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 Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Class Actions, dated March 19, 2007, for In re Merrill Lynch Research Reports Securities Litigation, 02 MDL 1484, this case, In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Internet Architecture HOLDRs Securities Litigation, 02-CV-3606, 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 23, 2002, the Court entered the Case Management Order #1. According to the Order, the actions filed on behalf of purchasers of depositary receipts of Internet Architecture HOLDRS SM Trust were consolidated and carried out under In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Internet Architecture HOLDRs Securities Litigation, 02-CV-3606 (MP). On March 14, 2003, an Amended Complaint was filed and and the defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss. On June 2, 2006, the Court entered the Minute Order 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.
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.
The complaint alleges that the 20 companies comprising the IAH Trust were dependent on their continuing ability to sell products to the internet companies that went public during 1999 and 2000, and that the Registration Statement for the IAH Trust failed to disclose that (i) the valuation of internet companies in the securities markets had been inflated by Merrill's internet research analysts' biased research coverage, and (ii) the internet
companies' lacked a long-term ability to raise capital in the financial markets necessary to buy products and services from the companies comprising the IAH Trust. The allegations in the complaint are based in part on published reports of the New York State Attorney General's investigation of Merrill's internet research practices. On May 10, 2002, the New York Attorney General was quoted in the Washington Post as stating that, "It is my view that restitution is best accomplished through private actions that individual investors will bring based on the particular facts of his or her or their investments."