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, 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, In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs Securities Litigation, 02-CV-4242, 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 Merrill Lynch Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs SM Trust were consolidated and now carried out under the In re Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs Securities Litigation, 02-CV-4242(MP). On March 13, 2003, a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed. 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 defendants violated sections 11, 12(a)(2),
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by issuing a series of false and
misleading statements, and omissions of material fact contained in the
Prospectus filed with the SEC on February 24, 2000, for the issuance and
initial public offering (the "Offering") of one billion Internet
Infrastructure HOLDRS. In particular, it is alleged that the Prospectus
was materially false and misleading because it failed to disclose that
defendants recommended the purchase of and set price targets for stocks
of certain of the companies that were included as assets of the Trust
(the "Underlying Securities") without any reasonable factual basis
therefor; failed to disclose significant material conflicts of interest
to obtain investment banking business for Merrill Lynch; and failed to
disclose material, non-public, adverse information which they possessed
about such companies, as well as their true opinion about such
companies. It is further alleged that the Prospectus failed to disclose
that, consequently, stocks of the Underlying Securities covered by
Merrill Lynch traded at artificially inflated prices, which in turn
artificially inflated the price of the Internet Infrastructure Holdrs
throughout the Class Period, causing plaintiff and the other members of
the Class to suffer damages.