Merrill Settlement Approved in Biased Research Reports Suits

September 6, 2007 ( - A $125 million settlement between Merrill Lynch & Co. and investors over the company's publishing of biased research got federal court approval on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit said that Merrill Lynch and technology analyst Henry Blodget sent out this research during the dot-com boom to garner big investment bank contracts.

The lawsuits were only one of the cases against Merrill that charged such practices. The company agreed earlier this year to pay $39 million to settle three suits brought by mutual fund investors.

The settlement approved Wednesday covered 23 more suits and amounted to $125 million, plus accrued interest.

U.S. District Judge John Keenan awarded the investors lawyers fees amounting to 24% of the settlement fund or nearly $32 million, as well as about $1.4 million in costs and expenses.

According to Reuters, the first of the cases alleged misleading research was brought in 2001 at a time when research practices on Wall Street were under siege.