OTC Markets Group's Policy Regarding Caveat Emptor
OTC Markets Group designates certain securities as "Caveat Emptor" and places a skull and crossbones icon next to the stock symbol to inform investors that there may be reason to exercise additional caution and perform thorough due diligence before making an investment decision in that security.
The Caveat Emptor Designation may be assigned when OTC Markets becomes aware of one or more of the following:
- Promotion — The security is the subject of stock promotion that may be misleading or manipulative. Promotional activities may include news releases, spam email, and newsletters, whether they are published by the issuer or a third party. See OTC Markets Group's Policy on Stock Promotion below.
- Investigation of Fraud or Other Criminal Activities — There is an investigation or other indication of fraudulent or other criminal activity involving the company, its securities or insiders.
- Suspension/Halt — A regulatory authority or an exchange has halted or suspended trading for public interest concerns (i.e. not a news or earnings halt).
- Undisclosed Corporate Actions — The security or company is the subject of a corporate action, such as a reverse merger, stock split, or name change, without adequate current information being publicly available.
- Other Public Interest Concern — OTC Markets Group may determine that there is a public interest concern regarding the security. Such concerns may include but are not limited to promotion campaigns (including third-party), unusual or unexplained trading activity, spam or disruptive corporate actions even when adequate current information is available.
When Does Caveat Emptor Get Removed?
Facts and circumstances may differ, however generally, OTC Markets Group will remove the Caveat Emptor designation once the company meets the qualifications for Pink Current Information, has verified the information on its company profile on www.otcmarkets.com, and demonstrates that there is no longer a public interest concern. The Caveat Emptor designation is typically not removed within the first 30 days. During the time it is labeled Caveat Emptor, any stock that is not in Pink Current Information will also have its quotes blocked on www.otcmarkets.com.
OTC Markets Group Policy on Stock Promotion
OTC Markets Group monitors for potential promotional activity relating to securities trading on our markets. We review for anonymous paid promotions, possible connections to bad actors, and evaluate the promotions potential impact on trading.
A company whose security is being promoted may not be directly involved or even aware of a promotion campaign for their securities, however all public companies have an obligation to provide accurate disclosure to investors and quickly address any misleading information that could affect the trading market for their securities.
Our policy describes how we are working to establish best practices, improve market transparency and better address the problem of stock promotion that is misleading and manipulative.