NetGuide NZ - Nasdaq to pay US$40m for Facebook fumble

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Nasdaq to pay US$40m for Facebook fumble

Nasdaq, the stock exchange operators responsible for technical problems which delayed Facebook’s IPO last month, have offered a US$40 million ‘accommodations fund’ to compensate investment firms which were left out of pocket as a result.

However, only US$13.7 million of the fund will be paid in cash, with the rest to be credited against trading costs over the next six months, according to a statement from the company.

All claims are to be evaluated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Unfortunately, the offer has not gone down well, with affected firms saying the sum is insufficient and other exchanges criticising the rebate scheme as effectively allowing the Nasdaq to undercut them on price.

According to a Reuters report, the top four firms involved in the IPO alone lost over US$115 million as a result of the glitch.

One, Knight Capital, described the Nasdaq proposal as ‘simply unacceptable’.

"Nasdaq’s compensation fund does not come close to covering reported losses from broker-dealers,” the firm says.

Nasdaq competitor NYSE Euronext was equally unimpressed.

"This is tantamount to forcing the industry to subsidise Nasdaq’s missteps,” the company says, "and would establish a harmful precedent that could have far reaching implications for the markets, investors and the public interest.”

Nasdaq’s proposal is still subject to a review by the Securities & Exchange Commission. Shares in Facebook are currently valued at US$26.81, down from an opening price of US$38.

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