According to the law firm press release, The complaint alleges that the defendants engaged in a scheme and wrongful course of business whereby the Exchange Defendants, together with a defendant class of the brokerage firms entrusted to fairly and honestly transact the purchase and sale of securities on behalf of their clients (the “Brokerage Firm Defendants”) and a defendant class of sophisticated high frequency trading firms (the “HFT Defendants”) engaged in conduct that was designed to and did manipulate the U.S. securities markets and the trading of equities on those markets, diverting billions of dollars annually from buyers and sellers of securities to the defendants, in violation of §§6, 10(b) and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The complaint alleges that contrary to the duties imposed upon them by law, SEC rules and their own regulations, the defendants participated in a scheme and wrongful course of business whereby certain market participants were provided with material, non-public information so that those market participants could use the informational advantage obtained to manipulate the U.S. securities market to the detriment of public investors. Notwithstanding their legal obligations and duties to provide for orderly and honest trading and to match the bids and orders placed on behalf of investors at the best available price, the Exchange Defendants and those defendants that controlled alternate trading venues demanded and received substantial kickback payments in exchange for providing the HFT Defendants access to material trading data via preferred access to exchange floors and/or through proprietary trading products. Likewise, in exchange for kickback payments, the Brokerage Firm Defendants provided access to their customers’ bids and offers, and directed their customers’ trades to stock exchanges and alternate trading venues that the Brokerage Firm Defendants knew had been rigged and were subject to informational asymmetries as a result of defendants’ scheme and wrongful course of business. Defendants’ predatory practices included the Brokerage Firm Defendants selling “special access” to material data, including orders made by the investing public so that the HFT Defendants could then trade against them using the informational asymmetries and other market manipulation. Defendants’ misconduct rigged the market and manipulated the prices at which shares were traded during the Class Period, causing substantial damage to public investors as a result thereof.
On July 2, 2014, an Order was issued consolidating the cases and appointing Lead Plaintiff and Counsel.
On September 2, 2014, a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed against the Defendants.
On August 26, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting Defendants' Motion to dismiss. On September 29, Plaintiffs filed a Notice appealing the Court's decision. On December 19, 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs, vacating the District Court's entry of Judgment and remanding for proceedings.