Nasdaq: Claims in Facebook IPO Capped at $41.6 Million

Facebook Stock (The Nasdaq MarketSite logo is juxtaposed with the news
Richard Drew/AP
By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON -- The total value of the claims that market makers can recover after suffering losses due to Nasdaq OMX Group's (NDAQ) botched handling of Facebook Inc.'s (FB) initial public offering is $41.6 million, the exchange operator said Friday.

The claims figure, which was calculated by Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority -- better known as Finra -- falls short of the $62 million that Nasdaq had initially set aside to repay brokerages that lost money.

Nasdaq said the figure is lower in part because some claims didn't qualify for compensation under its plan.

The main reason for the lower figure, however, was because one firm opted to try to recover funds through arbitration.

The announcement didn't name the brokerage, which was UBS (UBS).

UBS has pegged its losses from the glitch-ridden IPO at $350 million and was vocal in its decision to file an arbitration demand which claimed Nasdaq had violated a contract agreement.

U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, however, blocked the bank's arbitration proceeding over the summer on several grounds, including a determination that the bank's claims didn't fall within the scope of the arbitration provision in their services agreement.

Facebook's problematic debut on the Nasdaq exchange on May 18, 2012, resulted from a systems failure that prevented the timely delivery of order confirmations and left more than 30,000 Facebook orders stuck in Nasdaq's system for more than two hours.

Many brokerages were left in the dark wondering if their trades went through. Major market makers estimated they lost collectively up to $500 million in the IPO.

Nasdaq devised a plan to compensate firms up to $62 million, and laid out the criteria for how firms can be eligible to file claims.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the compensation plan in March, and Finra was put in charge of processing the claims for restitution.

Several months after approving the plan, the SEC in May filed civil charges against Nasdaq, saying the exchange's "ill-fated decisions" on the day of the Facebook IPO led to a series of regulatory violations.

Nasdaq settled the charges and agreed to pay a $10 million fine.

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