Feeds

Nasdaq red-faced after software snafu stalls Facebook IPO

'Humbled' chief promises fix for temperamental public debut system

The Power of One Infographic

Nasdaq OMX chief Robert Greifeld has said he is "humbly embarrassed" by the technical glitch that held up Facebook's IPO on Friday.

Greifeld said that problems with order cancellations interfered with the social network's debut, delaying it by more than two hours from the ringing of the bell at 9am EDT.

"This was not our finest hour," he told reporters in a conference call on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He also said that Nasdaq would be making changes to its auction process, but he didn't reveal any details.

Nasdaq had performed extensive testing beforehand and hadn't spotted the problem, but a malfunction apparently sent the stock exchanges systems into a loop that stopped the shares from coming online on schedule.

Some are blaming the technical problems for the poor performance of Facebook shares on Friday; the stock closed at just 0.6 per cent above the IPO price despite the preceding public anticipation of a big bump.

Traders said that investors got cold feet after having to wait over two hours after the stock started trading to see if their initial orders had been honoured or cancelled in the technical hiccup. Since they didn't know for sure how much they'd bought or sold and at what price, they bailed out.

The problems aren't the first technical issues to come up on newly computerised stock exchanges. In May 2010, a computer-driven sale worth $4.1bn triggered a "flash crash" that temporarily wiped out $1 trillion worth of shareholder equity in minutes.

In March this year, the US's third-largest stock exchange, BATS Global Markets, had to withdraw its own IPO on its own exchange after a series of unforeseen glitches. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.