BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 23:12 GMT 00:12 UK
Merrill sued over internet stock tip
Merrill Lynch logo
Wall Street brokerage Merrill Lynch is facing fresh legal action from aggrieved investors who lost money on one of its internet stock tips.

A lawsuit filed on Wednesday on behalf of investors in bankrupt online toy shop EToys accuses Merrill Lynch of fraud.

It claims that the brokerage giant deliberately issued "false and misleading analyst reports" on internet stocks in breach of US stock market regulations.

The latest lawsuit comes less than two months after Merrill paid $100m to settle an investigation by New York state prosecutors into allegations its analysts misled tech stock investors.

Conflict of interest

Under the settlement, Merrill did not admit to any wrongdoing.

But the firm agreed to put up firewalls between its investment banking and research departments in order to guarantee its analysts' independence.

The New York prosecutors' investigation was prompted by allegations that the firm's analysts issued glowing reports on firms that they privately disparaged so as to keep open the possibility of gaining lucrative investment banking business from them.

The EToys lawsuit cites that investigation, led by New York attorney general Elliot Spitzer.

Shares in EToys peaked at $90 shortly after its stock market listing in 1999, but fell heavily when the internet bubble burst one year later.

The company filed for bankruptcy last year.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Theo Leggett
"It charges the company... with knowingly issuing false and misleading analyst reports."
See also:

07 Jun 02 | Business
24 May 02 | Business
22 May 02 | Business
21 May 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes