Vodafone ADR Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Vodafone Group plc (NASDAQ:VOD)

Vodafone’s website states that “Vodafone Group Plc is one of the world’s leading telecommunications groups, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific through the company’s subsidiary undertakings, joint ventures, associated undertakings and investments.”

On January 18, 2018, a federal securities class action (Ferrare v. Vodafone Group Public Limited Company, et al, No. 18-00466) was filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities, other than the Vodafone Defendants and their affiliates, who purchased or otherwise acquired Vodafone American Depositary Receipts from February 11, 2015 through January 11, 2018, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover compensable damages caused by the Vodafone Defendants’ violations of federal securities laws and pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Vodafone ADR class action complaint alleges that the Vodafone Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: Vodafone had contravened Australian law by permitting customers to purchase pre-paid mobile phones without first verifying their identities, and, as a result, Vodafone’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

Australian Communications and Media Authority Announcement & Vodafone ADR Price Drop

As previously posted (“Vodafone Breaches Prepaid Mobile Service Verification Rules”), on January 10, 2018, post-market, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (“ACMA)” announced that “Vodafone Network Pty Limited will significantly improve its processes for verifying the identity of prepaid mobile customers under an enforceable undertaking accepted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority,” subsequent to an investigation by the ACMA which disclosed that Vodafone “failed to verify the identity of at least 1,028 customers before activating their prepaid mobile services.” According to the ACMA media release, “[t]he breaches occurred between 6 January 2015 and 6 January 2016. They resulted from changes to Vodafone’s IT systems that allowed customers to self-select online that their identity had been verified in store, without any further check that this had actually occurred.”

The ACMA’s Final Investigation Report stated:

After completing its investigation, the ACMA finds that Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited [VHA] . . . has contravened section 2.3 of the Telecommunications (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2013 (the Prepaid Determination) on at least 1,028 occasions. As a consequence of these contraventions, the ACMA also finds that VHA contravened subsection 101(1) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) on at least 1,028 occasions as it did not comply with the service provider rules that apply to it, namely the rules set out in the Prepaid Determination in force under section 99 of the Act. [Emphasis added]

Further, the ACMA report stated that “[i]n February 2016 the ACMA became aware of an option on VHA’s website which allowed customers of its prepaid mobile carriage services to select that their identity had been verified in a store and then proceed to activate their service through use of the website,” and “[t]he ACMA was concerned that the ID-checked in store option appeared to allow customers to activate their prepaid mobile carriage service using the website without VHA necessarily having checked the customer’s identity at the time of sale . . . of the service or at the time of activation as required by the Prepaid Determination.” [Emphasis added]

The ACMA’s Final Investigation Report referred to “ID-checked in store option” as the option which allowed VHA customers to self-select on VHA’s website that their identity had been verified in store followed by activation of their prepaid mobile carriage service.

ACMA News & Vodafone ADR Price Decline 

On this news, Vodafone’s American Depositary Receipts declined from a closing price of $32.60 on January 9, 2018 to a closing price of $31.44 on January 11, 2018, an ADR decrease of approximately 3.55%.

Vodafone ADR Class Action

Vodafone ADR Purchasers or Acquirers

If you purchased, or otherwise acquired, Vodafone Group plc American Depositary Receipts from February 11, 2015 through January 11, 2018, both dates inclusive, and have questions or concerns about your potential legal rights or claims, please contact John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected], complete the form above on the right or e-mail [email protected].

Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.