Facebook IPO blunders leave Nasdaq “humbly embarrassed”

May 21, 2012
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Facebook's IPO launch on Friday was marred with flaws in the Nasdaq system, the exchange operator has admitted, that left investors unclear on what they'd actually bought or sold for several hours. The Nasdaq team was "humbly embarrassed" in what "was not our finest hour" CEO Robert Griefield conceded, revealing that the company will change its IPO processes in future and maintaining that the public offering was nonetheless "successful."

Withdrawing the Facebook IPO "never came into" consideration, Griefield told the WSJ, despite issues from the outset. Sales of Facebook shares began around thirty minutes late, while traders were subsequently left in the dark for around two hours as to which sales had gone through, what prices had been achieved, and how many shares overall were being held.

That uncertainty, some traders apparently told the newspaper, led in part to the $38 per share price that disappointed many hoping Facebook would signify the next big tech surge. In fact, sales ended at around the same price as they began, despite months of hyperbole beforehand.

Nonetheless, Facebook achieved its stated goal: around $16bn of new cash to inject into the site. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is yet to confirm what, exactly, that money will be spent on, but Facebook has previously highlighted its mobile strategy and advertising approach as key areas needing investment and attention.


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