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SiliconValley.com: Red Hat IPO perk turns into snafu

“Volunteers, E*Trade caught up in fine print”

“Being savvy about the Web doesn’t necessarily mean you
understand the ins and outs of Wall Street. That’s the moral of the
story of Red Hat Inc.’s small army of volunteer software
programmers, who thought they had the instant riches of an IPO deal
coming their way, only to find the online brokerage E*Trade was
unwilling to help them stake their claim.”

“The misunderstanding left Red Hat’s irate developers feeling
cheated and fuming in online missives. E*Trade attributed the
problem to ignorance about the rules of the National Association of
Securities Dealers, which will regulate the public offering
expected to be announced soon by Durham, N.C.-based Red Hat, an
Internet purveyor of free Linux software. Red Hat officials
declined comment, citing confidentiality rules pending the
IPO.”


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