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SEC© probes marketing of private tech shares

Publisher: Marketwatch
Authors: Susan Pulliam & Telis Demos

Securities regulators have launched a broad investigation into whether hedge funds and other investors are improperly selling hot private technology stocks amid a boom in the trading of such shares, people close to the probe say.

The regulatory scrutiny, which is at an early stage, follows a March page-one article in The Wall Street Journal that delved into the role of middlemen in the burgeoning market for private shares.

The investigation, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is focused on a burst of new activity recently by people selling pre-IPO shares as valuations of private tech companies have exploded and companies have opted to remain private for longer.

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