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Alibaba Nears SEC Blessing as Biggest IPO Causes Few Ripples in Washington

July 10, 2014, Bloomberg

Covington partner David Martin is quoted regarding Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s proposal for what could be the largest initial stock offering in U.S. history.

"The SEC’s anticipated approval of the offering documents will follow a staff review and won’t be voted on by the full five-member commission. The process isn’t designed to judge the offering, only to ensure investors are alerted to all risks."

“The federal system is very much a non-merit based regulatory system,” said David Martin, a former head of the SEC’s division of corporation finance who is now a partner at the Covington & Burling law firm in Washington. “It effectively takes the position that you can sell anything you want, as long as you disclose it accurately.” 

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