On Thursday, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co, which is one of the top SEC filing agents in the country, released Google’s quarterly results hours ahead of schedule. That the deed was a mistake was immediately apparent, as the second paragraph of the filing said “PENDING LARRY QUOTE” showing a quote from the Google CEO, Larry Page was still to be received.
However, the damage was done, and within moments of the results being published on the SEC website, shares of Google fell by almost 10 percent knocking off $26 billion in market capitalization. Following the tradition of the Internet age, within moments, a prankster created a “PendingLarry” Twitter feed speculating, what Larry Page might have provided as his input in the quarterly results.
Donnelly shares immediately started falling and lost almost 5 percent when Google issued a statement blaming Donnelly for the mishap and consequences.
Naturally, investors are trying to find out whether they can sue, but the possibility seems remote, as this was clearly a mistake without any malicious intention.
However, the liabilities of R.R. Donnelly vis-à-vis Google as its agent may remain, and Google may file negligence claims unless such actions are precluded by agreements between the parties.
As the top SEC filing agent, Donnelley has already handled more than 75, 000 submissions this year. But, as according to Murphy’s law, when somebody goofed up, it had to be in the case of Google, one of the biggest clients of Donnelley.