Fraud-On-The Market Class Actions Against Foreign Issuers

106 Pages Posted: 6 May 2011

See all articles by Merritt B. Fox

Merritt B. Fox

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: April 30, 2011


This Article goes back to first principles to look at the basic policy concerns that are implicated by the extra territorial reach of fraud-on-the-market class actions. The resulting analysis suggests a simple, clear rule that can be shown likely to both maximize U.S. economic welfare and, by also promoting global economic welfare, foster good U.S. foreign relations as well. The U.S. law based class action fraud-on-the-market liability regime, I conclude, should not as a general matter be imposed upon any genuinely foreign issuer, even where the purchaser making the claim is a U.S. investor purchasing the share in a U.S. market or where significant conduct contributing to the misstatement occurs in the United States. An issuer is genuinely foreign if it has its economic center of gravity as an operating firm outside the United States. The only exception would be a foreign issuer that has agreed, as a form of bonding, to be subject to the U.S. liability regime, in which case all such claims against the issuer should be allowed, regardless of the nationality and residence of the purchasing plaintiff, the place where she executes the transaction, and the place or places where conduct contributing to the misstatement occurs.

Suggested Citation

Fox, Merritt B., Fraud-On-The Market Class Actions Against Foreign Issuers (April 30, 2011). Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No. 400, Available at SSRN: or

Merritt B. Fox (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

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