Google and Twitter have asked an appeals court to overturn a lower court’s decision to bar Theflyonthewall.com from issuing immediate news on analyst research from several Wall Street banks, Reuters reported, citing court documents.
Theflyonthewall.com posted headlines from research reports and press releases on its website, often before banks could share their recommendations with their clients.
In March, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Theflyonthewall.com engaged in “systematic misappropriation,” essentially getting a “free ride” from its quick publication of upgrades and downgrades that can move stocks higher and lower. The ruling was made in favor of Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, Barclays and Morgan Stanley, which had earlier sought court intervention to ban Theflyonthewall from using their research reports.
However, in a filing with an appeals court late on Monday, Google and Twitter argued that in the age of Internet and instantaneous communication, banning of Theflyonthewall.com’s immediate news dissemination was “obsolete.” Google and Twitter argued that upholding the district court’s decision would give those who obtained the news first strong incentives to block others from obtaining the same information.
“News reporting always has been a complex ecosystem, where what is ‘news’ is often driven by certain influential news organizations, with others republishing or broadcasting those facts — all to the benefit of the public,” Reuters cited the companies as saying in the filing.
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