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Deutsche Boerse won’t take action against EM.TV

The media group is not off the hook with its shareholders though.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Deutsche Boerse has no plans to take action against German media company EM.TV for selling shares in violation of an agreement with underwriters.

The announcement follows a formal inquiry into EM.TV. The stock exchange found that Thomas Haffa, chief executive of EM.TV, had sold shares in February 2000 in violation of his agreement that he would hold his shares until at least May. He had failed to get written permission from a consortium of underwriters led by WestLB.

Under German law however top executives are not required to reveal when they sell shares. Mr. Haffa's commitment was an agreement with WestLB and thus not legally binding.

The newspaper quotes Klaus Rotter, the lawyer representing EM.TV shareholders, saying that the decision “changes nothing concerning the justification of shareholders to seek a claim for damages.”