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Market Manipulation, What Does the Law Say?

January 31st, 2019

 

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Manipulation is intentional conduct designed to deceive investors by controlling or artificially affecting the market for a security,” says the SEC website.

 

Market manipulation. Market manipulation is a type of market abuse where there is a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a product, security, commodity or currency,” states Wikipedia, which cites their sources.

Manipulation is illegal in most cases, but it can be difficult for regulators and other authorities to detect. … It is much easier to manipulate the share price of smaller companies, such as penny stocks, because they are not as closely watched by analysts and other market participants as the medium and large cap firms,” said Investopedia on Nov 10, 2017.

Equity Master said, “Stock market operators are market participants who form a syndicate to manipulate stock prices for personal gain. … Through a coordinated act, the operators rig stock prices higher or lower, creating a frenzy or panic for a certain stock. Seeing the rapid stock price movements, traders flock in and perpetuate the trend.”

But there are other forms of market manipulation, that may or may not have anything to do with stocks and equities trading.

Consider the issue of boycotting. Here’s what the FTC says.

Group Boycotts

Any company may, on its own, refuse to do business with another firm, but an agreement among competitors not to do business with targeted individuals or businesses may be an illegal boycott, especially if the group of competitors working together has market power.”

Are there objective reasons to believe that such activity(ies) have been introduced in the manufactured housing industry?

There are published reasons – from third-parties to MHProNews – that suggest that a reasonable answer to that query is ‘yes.’

The FTC also successfully challenged the group boycott of an association…” in a case upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, involving competing trial attorneys.

Boycotts to prevent a firm from entering a market or to disadvantage an existing competitor are also illegal,” says the FTC.

The arguably pro-MHI source publicly calling for a boycott itself claimed to include an MHI affiliate, for details and evidence, see the link here and see the related download, etc..  Is it poetic or jocular that this sort of persona would be selected by MHI to be their surrogate in a call for their ‘boycott?’

More recently, without a legal explanation, competing publishers were given preferential treatment at the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, which included special treatment of the source that publicly called for an organized boycott.

The parties involved in that decision to play favorites at Louisville event have clear ties to MHI, as they include those that MHI themselves have termed their “affiliates” and/or are MHI members.

MHI leaders were advised of the matter.  At this point, the Daily Business News on MHProNews is not aware of any public action taken to stop the purportedly abusive practices.

These matters will take time to sort out.  As with other items, patience and persistence are required. But it is worth considering what MHI themselves have said in their antitrust guidelines.

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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