Facebook IPO system falls flat, Zuckerberg gets married

Macworld Australia Staff
21 May, 2012
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American stock exchange Nasdaq CEO, Robert Greifeld has spoken about Friday’s Facebook IPO blunder that saw its computer system unable to handle the volume of share activity.

Delays in order confirmations were due to “poor design” in Nasdaq’s driving auction software according to Greifeld.

“We ran our IPO auction process differently than we run the regular open and close. Typically, we lock the order book two minutes before the auction is to take place,” Greifeld said on CNBC.

In the case of Facebook, the investor deals were left open to milliseconds before the auction began, leaving a huge number of modifications for the system to process in real time in order to establish Facebook’s opening price.

“We designed the system this way. And in theory its the best way to do it because it gives the investor more time to modify orders. But with the volume we were dealing with, there were collisions,” Greifeld explained.

Greifeld defended the software stating a “loop” left investors unsure of whether their buy or sell orders had been processed.

Talking a day after Nasdaq’s board discussed the bungle, Greifeld concluded it “was not our finest hour.”

According to Bloomberg the issues started “at 11:11 a.m. New York time after Morgan Stanley (MS), one of the underwriters that sold 421 million shares the night before, completed its role setting the price for the trade in Nasdaq’s opening auction.”

Greifeld conceded to Bloomberg, “the IPO software ‘didn’t work’ even after thousands of hours of testing for ‘a hundred scenarios’ aimed at anticipating problems.”

Facebook’s 421 million shares catapulted the company’s IPO as the third largest on record, with shares starting at US$38 on Friday, reaching a maximum of US$45 before returning to US$38.23 at the close of the day.

That same day Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wed long-time girlfriend27-year-old Priscilla Chan in Palo Alto, California, updating his Facebook relationship status to ‘married’ the following Sunday.

According to The Guardian the “couple met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years.”

The wedding took place in Zuckerberg’s backyard with less than 100 guests and featured a ruby wedding ring believed to have been designed by Zuckerberg himself.



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