I filed a complaint this morning, and a couple of my friends have done the same. Hopefully, the SEC gives a damn.
Ebix, a publicly traded software company, has been the target of a smear campaign by anonymous sources on two occasions, using the site Seeking Alpha. In both cases, the posts were done anonymously, first by a "Copperfield Research" on March 21, 2012, and most recently, by "Gotham City Research" on February 21, 2013. In the case of Gotham City Research, it is readily apparent that this entity was created for the sole purpose of attacking Ebix, because is was incorporated only 1-2 weeks before publication of the article, and it has never published any research on any other company. In both articles, the accuser refused to disclose his or her identity. The primary problem is that timing of article publication coincided with obvious and significant market manipulation designed to drive the price down, after recent run ups in the share price. Most importantly, both articles used false and misleading information to generate fear in the marketplace. The authors misquote SEC filings, and omit key pieces of information to lead the reader. Sadly, Bloomberg has carried news of the publications in a very suspicious manner, leading me to believe that the Bloomberg author, Greg Farrell, may be involved in the market manipulation. Also, Seeking Alpha has refused to publish valid counterpoints that dismantle the accusations, raising the specter of the website's involvement. In the most recent attack, nearly 1/3 of the company's market cap was erased in less than 48 hours. The company and investors are suffering. If the accusations were true, I would have no problem with publication. However, the accusations are false and the accusers are both hiding their identities AND blatantly profiting from their lies. At the same time, a legitimate and productive American company is expending valuable resources and the future business potential is harmed, because many investors are scared to invest after repeated short attacks. I do not believe that anonymous accusers should be legally allowed to publish false and misleading statements simply to manipulate a stock price without any accountability. I also believe that news organizations such as Bloomberg and Seeking Alpha must hold their "journalists" to a higher standard, at the least, and avoid participation in illegal market manipulation schemes, at the worst.