Locos Inc Investors Pursue Shareholder Rights

Thursday July 11, 6:11 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran

Lycos, Inc. Investor Pursues Shareholders’ Rights Claim Against Merrill Lynch After Learning of the $100 Million Settlement with the New York Attorney General

WASHINGTON, July 11 /PRNewswire/ — Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has filed a securities fraud class action lawsuit against Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and the former head of its Internet group, Henry Blodget, on behalf of purchasers of Lycos, Inc. (n/k/a/ Terra Networks, S.A. (Nasdaq: TRLY – News) securities between June 15, 1999 and May 17, 2000, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

Recently, the New York Attorney General, Eliot L. Spitzer lodged a similar probe against Merrill Lynch concerning Aether Systems and other “new economy” companies. Eliot L. Spitzer’s published probe discusses: Buy.com, GoTo.com (n/k/a Overture Services (Nasdaq: OVER – News)), iVillage (Nasdaq: IVIL – News), Looksmart (Nasdaq: LOOK – News), Mypoints.com, Quokka Sports (PNK: QKKAQ.PK), Webvan (PNK: WBVNQ.PK), and Lifeminders (n/k/a Cross Media Marketing Corp (Amex:XMM – News)). Subsequently, Merrill Lynch agreed to pay $100 million to settle these charges. On June 5, 2002, Eliot L. Spitzer was reported as saying that “investors should use (the published probe) to regain some of their stock losses.”

The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that Merrill Lynch and its well-known former Internet stock analyst Henry Blodget violated the federal securities laws by knowingly issuing false and misleading analyst reports regarding these “new economy” companies during the Class Period. Based on e-mails and other internal Merrill Lynch communications, which were made public as a result of the investigation conducted by the New York State Attorney General, Eliot L. Spitzer, the Complaint alleges that Defendants failed to disclose a significant conflict of interest between their investment banking and research departments. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Henry Blodget and other Merrill Lynch analysts issued very favorable analyst reports regarding these “new economy” companies to the public when they allegedly knew that the positive recommendations were unwarranted and false. The Complaint further alleges that, unbeknownst to the investing public, Merrill Lynch’s buy recommendations and price targets for these “new economy” companies were driven by its efforts to attract lucrative investment banking business from these “new economy” companies rather than by the companies’ fundamental merits.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all investors who purchased Lycos, Inc. securities during the Class Period and who suffered damages as a result, and is represented by the law firm of Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran, of Washington, DC. Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran has over thirty years of securities litigation experience, has broad experience in representing defrauded investors in shareholder class actions, and has been appointed to lead positions in many such actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

If you are a member of the Class described above, and if you meet certain other legal requirements, you may, not later than September 9, 2002, move the Court to serve as a lead plaintiff. If you wish to discuss the action involving Lycos, Inc. or New York State Attorney General, Eliot L. Spitzer’s probe, or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact Conor R. Crowley or Adam T. Savett with Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran by e-mail at crc@ftllaw.com or ats@ftllaw.com .

SOURCE: Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran

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