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Nasdaq Dealers Talk Settlement

December 19, 1997

NEW YORK (AP)_ Investors and more than two dozen Nasdaq dealers are negotiating a $900 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit that claims firms rigged prices on the Nasdaq Stock Market, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The lawsuit was filed by investors in 1994 against 37 firms, including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Goldman, Sachs & Co., claiming they conspired to keep trading spreads of Nasdaq stocks overly wide between 1989 amd 1994.

In a separate case, two dozen of the firms settled similar charges with the Justice Department last year, agreeing to tape record some trading desk calls. The firms did not admit any wrongdoing in that case.

Meanwhile, the Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing civil charges against dozens of traders as part of its own investigation of alleged price manipulation on Nasdaq. While the SEC has completed portions of its investigation, it has not yet sent out notices notifying firms that charges are likely to be filed.

The newspaper said the SEC is likely to charge several dozen traders.

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