Coupang, Inc. (CPNG) Made Material Misrepresentations in Connection with its IPO
A shareholder filed a class action on behalf of all purchasers of Coupang (NASDAQ: CPNG) Class A common stock pursuant or traceable to the Company’s March 2021 initial public offering (“IPO”), for violations of the Securities Act of 1933. Coupang is one of the largest e-commerce companies in Asia.
According to the complaint, in March 2021, defendants issued approximately 100 million shares of Coupang Class A common stock at $35 per share, for total gross proceeds of $3.5 billion.
However, the Registration Statement in support of the IPO failed to disclose that: (a) Coupang was engaged in improper anti-competitive practices with its suppliers and other third parties in violation of applicable regulations, including: (i) pressuring suppliers to raise prices of products on competing e-commerce platforms in order to ensure Coupang’s prices would be more competitive; (ii) coercing suppliers into purchasing advertisements that would benefit Coupang financially; (iii) forcing suppliers to shoulder all expenses from sales promotions; and (iv) requesting wholesale rebates from suppliers without specifying any terms relating to rebate programs, all of which served to artificially maintain the Company’s lower prices and artificially inflate the Company’s historical revenues and market share; (b) Coupang had improperly adjusted search algorithms and manipulated product reviews on its marketplace platform in order to prioritize its own private-label branded products over those of other sellers and merchants, to the detriment of consumers, merchants, and suppliers; (c) unbeknownst to its Rocket WOW members, Coupang was selling products to non-member customers at lower prices than those offered to its Rocket WOW members; (d) Coupang subjected its workforce to extreme, unsafe, and unhealthy working conditions; (e) all of the above illicit practices exposed the Company to a heightened, but undisclosed, risk of reputational and regulatory scrutiny that would harm the Company’s critical relationships with consumers, merchants, suppliers, and the workforce; and (f) that Coupang’s lower prices, historical revenues, competitive advantages, and growing market share were the result of systemic, improper, unethical, and/or illegal practices, and, thus, unsustainable.
By July 14, 2022, Coupang Class A common stock closed below $15 per share –more than 50% below the $35 per share price investors paid for the stock in the IPO less than a year-and-a-half earlier.
Next Steps: If you acquired shares of Coupang, Inc. pursuant to the Company’s IPO, you have until October 25, 2022, to ask the court to appoint you lead plaintiff for the class. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. You do not have to participate in the case to be eligible for a recovery.
All representation is on a contingency fee basis. Shareholders pay no fees or expenses.