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New York Stock Exchange faces lawsuit over 2015 blackout

New York Stock Exchange faces lawsuit over 2015 blackout
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has indicated that it will file a lawsuit against a 2015 outage on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The four-hour long blackout was the worst in the exchange’s history.

The NYSE is bracing for a civil lawsuit from the SEC after a botched technology upgrade paralyzed the exchange for about four hours in July 2015. In an announcement on Tuesday, Intercontinental Exchange, the NYSE’s parent company, confirmed that it had received a Wells Notice that states the SEC’s intention to sue.

Intercontinental Partners received its Wells Notice on December 29, according to the company. On a conference call, Intercontinental Exchange Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sprecher vowed to fight the suit. A “Wells notice” is never a good sign for any company as it is the parlance for when the SEC sends a letter stating its intent to sue.

We dispute the appropriateness of the potential charges that the SEC wants to bring and we have a lot of defenses,” he said.

Sprecher also said that he did not believe that NYSE had done anything illegal.

It was very unfortunate, it was embarrassing and a black eye but we don’t believe it actually violated any law,” he said.

The cause of the outage was reported to be a botched software upgrade that required deals to be rerouted through alternative markets, such as Nasdaq.