Today, the MDL Panel ordered that 41 cases filed in connection with Facebook’s May 18, 2012 IPO be centralized, transferred to the SDNY and assigned to Judge Sweet. The 41 cases had been filed in the SDNY, the Northern District of California and the Middle District of Florida.

Eight of the actions name NASDAQ as a defendant, alleging that the exchange mishandled the IPO.  Certain plaintiffs opposed the inclusion of those actions in one MDL with the securities and derivative actions, but the panel determined that all 41 actions address the common issue of the cause of the decline in Facebook’s stock price, and that warrants centralization: 

We conclude that though the NASDAQ actions involve different defendants and claims from those in the securities and derivative actions, they do involve enough common questions of fact, related circumstances and common discovery to warrant centralization. The securities and derivative actions involve some unique factual issues and some discovery and pretrial motions practice that will not overlap with the NASDAQ actions. While NASDAQ expresses concerns about this, as we have held in the past, “[w]e leave the degree of any coordination or consolidation to the discretion of the transferee judge.” In re: Gerova Fin. Group, Ltd., Sec. Litig., 816 F. Supp. 2d 1381, 1832 (J.P.M.L. 2011). We have complete confidence that the transferee judge can accommodate these differences without delaying or compromising consideration of claims on their individual merits. See In re: Tribune Co. Fraudulent Conveyance Litig., 831 F. Supp. 2d 1371, 1371-72 (J.P.M.L. 2011). We also find persuasive that all the actions in the Southern District of New York have been related before Judge Robert W. Sweet without apparent objection from any party.