Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit Against Certain Registered Public Stock Exchanges, Brokerage Firms and High Frequency Trading Firms

April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014 – Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) today announced that a class action has been commenced on behalf of an institutional investor in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of public investors who purchased and/or sold shares of stock in the United States between April 18, 2009 and the present (the “Class Period”) on a registered public stock exchange (the “Exchange Defendants”) or a United States-based alternate trading venue and were injured as a result of the misconduct.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today.  If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Darren Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com.  Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

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.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all public investors who purchased and/or sold shares of stock in the United States during the Class Period on a registered public stock exchange or a United States-based alternate trading venue (the “Class”).  The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation.  With nearly 200 lawyers in ten offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion.  The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries in history and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003.  Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.

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