Citi fined $2 mln over Facebook IPO


Citigroup fired its top Internet analyst, Mark Mahaney, and paid a $2 million fine to a Massachusetts regulator to settle charges that the bank improperly disclosed research on Facebook (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) IPO and information on other tech companies.

It was the first formal charge involving an underwriter’s disclosure of sensitive financial information ahead of the social media company’s $16 billion initial public offering in May. Lead underwriter Morgan Stanley has come under criticism for revealing revised Facebook Inc earnings and revenue forecasts to select clients on conference calls ahead of the IPO, leaving the rest of the investing public in the dark.

In the Citi case, a junior analyst working for Mahaney emailed some research to journalists at the Techcrunch news website, who published some of the information in a blog post, according to the Massachusetts complaint released on Friday.

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