Akamai Technologies Inc’s ARS Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank Can Proceed

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts says that, under the 1934 Securities Exchange Act and the Massachusetts’ Uniform Securities Act, Akamai Technologies Inc.’s (AKAM) auction-rate securities lawsuit that seeks to hold Deutsche Bank AG liable for $200 million in losses can proceed. The judge ruled that the Internet content delivery firm had properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission in violation of Section 10(b) of the ’34 Securities Exchange Act, which is necessary for a control person claim under Section 20(a). The court also held that Akamai clearly pleaded Deutsche Bank’s control over Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., the subsidiary that allegedly advised the company to buy the toxic ARS.

Per the court, DBS was the broker and investment adviser for Akamai Securities Corp. and Akamai Technologies Inc. Akamai told the investment adviser that it wanted to put money in securities that were liquid and safe so it could access the funds when needed. DBS told Akamai that ARS were safe, liquid, and never failed even though the financial firm allegedly knew that they had done so before and, in fact, posed a higher level of risk than what it led Akamai to believe. Even in August 2007, when Deutsche Bank knew that the demand for ARS was going down and the risk of ARS auctions failing was rising, the investment adviser still allegedly did not notify Akamai that the market was changing.

When the ARS market did fall in 2008, Akamai was left with over $200 million in illiquid securities. Its securities fraud lawsuit also claims that even as DBS continued to claim that the securities were liquid and safe, resulting in Akamai increasing its ARS investments, the investment bank was decreasing its own exposure to the market.

Related Web Resources:
Deutsche Bank Loses Bid to Dismiss Control Person Claims by ARS Investor, BNA

Frozen in time, Boston.com, February 16, 2010

Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Akamai Securities Corp. v. Deutsche Bank AG (PDF)

Massachusetts’ Uniform Securities Act

More Blog Posts:
Credit Suisse Broker Previously Convicted for Selling High Risk ARS is Barred from Future Securities Law Violations, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, February 12, 2011

Merrill Lynch Doesn’t Have to Arbitrate ARS Claims by LSED, Says Appeals Court, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, December 22, 2010

Citigroup Global Markets to Pay Back $95.5M Over ARS Sold to LandAmerica Exchange Fund, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, November 11, 2010

Our securities fraud attorneys represent clients whose investments were frozen during the auction-rate securities market crisis. Unfortunately, many investors were told that that ARS were liquid like cash and low risk.