Vodafone Group Public Limited Company
- Company Name
- Vodafone Group Public Limited Company
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- February 11, 2015 to January 11, 2018
- Motion Deadline
- March 20, 2018
- Southern District of New York
The complaint charges Vodafone and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, providing a range of services, including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 50 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding Vodafone’s business and operations, including that Vodafone had contravened Australian law requiring all telecommunications companies to verify the identity of customers of prepaid mobile services before activating their services in order to help law enforcement and national security agencies obtain accurate information about the identity of customers for the purposes of their investigations. Specifically, Vodafone permitted customers to purchase prepaid mobile phones without first verifying their identities using Vodafone’s website, which allowed a customer to indicate that his or her identity had been verified in a store and activate service without confirming that their identity had, in fact, been verified. As a result of defendants’ false statements and/or omissions, the price of Vodafone’s American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) was artificially inflated during the Class Period, reaching a high of $39.21 per share.
Then on January 10, 2018, the Australian Communications and Media Authority issued a press release disclosing that, following an investigation into Vodafone Australia, it had determined the Company “failed to verify the identity of at least 1,028 customers before activating their prepaid mobile services,” and Vodafone Australia had entered into an enforceable undertaking to “improve its processes for verifying the identity of prepaid mobile customers.” On this news, the price of Vodafone ADRs declined 3.5% over the next two trading days, from a closing price of $32.60 per share on January 9, 2018, to a closing price of $31.44 per share on January 11, 2018.