Was Microvision (MVIS) Hatchet Job on Seeking Alpha Illegal Stock Manipulation?

Yesterday, Microvision (MVIS) plunged almost 12% because of a critical article written on the financial blog aggregator Seeking Alpha. Barron’s:

Microvision (MVIS) shares are sharply lower this morning on a highly negative post about the company…

Microvision is developing pico projectors…The post asserts that Microvision’s own projectors, known as The Show, continue to fall behind schedule, and that Microvision is facing a cash crunch.

Well, guess what? The article is gone today. Replaced with this message:

This article has been removed, pending investigation of claims of material inaccuracies. See Seeking Alpha’s policy for disputing an article.

The article’s author, a “Liam Mulcahy,” said he worked at a hedge fund that was short Microvision. This is certainly more disclosure than accompanies most rumour-powered stock manipulation schemes, and if the information in the article is accurate, there’s no foul (you can talk up your book all you want–people on CNBC do it all day long). If the information was innacurate, however, and “Liam Mulcahy” knew it was inaccurate, then that would likely be illegal stock manipulation. We await the verdict.

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