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Technology Stocks : TheStreet.com, Inc. (TSCM)

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From: StockDung3/6/2006 9:39:18 AM
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StockGate: Speed Bumps In ?Jihad-Land? As Biovail Stalks Analysts; Byrne Sr. Cools On Overstock ?Distraction? / FinancialWire®

March 6, 2006 (FinancialWire) While not legal setbacks, such as Gradient and Rocker Partners suffered this past week, allegations that Biovail (NYSE: BVF) has been hiring private investigators to empty the trash of analysts, and a news report that Overstock.com?s (NASDAQ: OSTK) Chair Jack Byrne is at odds with his son, CEO Patrick Byrne over time being spent on a ?jihad? against market manipulators, left the opponents of naked short selling scrambling to deal with their own public relations problems.

March 6, 2006 (FinancialWire) While not legal setbacks, such as Gradient and Rocker Partners suffered this past week, allegations that Biovail (NYSE: BVF) has been hiring private investigators to empty the trash of analysts, and a news report that Overstock.com?s (NASDAQ: OSTK) Chair Jack Byrne is at odds with his son, CEO Patrick Byrne over time being spent on a ?jihad? against market manipulators, left the opponents of naked short selling scrambling to deal with their own public relations problems.

Biovail, which alleges more than a dozen public companies have been similarly harmed by what it terms sham and collusive research between Gradient, Rocker and SAC Capital, including Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKP), was said by Roddy Boyd of the New York Post to have hired private investigators represented by Mitchell R. Schrage, Esq., to take the trash of former Banc of America (NYSE: BAC) analyst Jerry Treppel, with whom it has a long-running feud, and Bank of America analyst David Maris, whose wife was allegedly ?repeatedly followed? whenever she left her home in suburban New Jersey.

The investigators were apparently questioned by New Jersey police.

Other companies cited by Biovail as having potential causes of action against Gradient and one or more hedge funds include AstraZeneca, (NYSE: AZN) Avon Products (NYSE: AVP), Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Novastar (NYSE: NFI), Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), Cardinal Healthcare (NYSE: CAH), Intermune (NASDAQ: ITMN), Biolase (NASDAQ: BLTI) Take-Two Entertainment (NASDAQ: TTWO), King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG), Swift Transportation (NASDAQ: SWFT) and Taser (NASDAQ: TASR).

The senior Byrne told a reporter that he is considering stepping down as chair of Overstock.com, but would remain on as a director. He intimated that he did not want his business disagreements to come between himself and his son on a personal basis.

CEO Byrne, for his part, showed no indication over the weekend of backing away from his very public efforts to bring what he terms miscreants to justice, although much of the press continues to portray his actions as a ?cover? for poor company performance and actions against ?analysts? in general rather than one particular firm and its hedge funds clients and selected ?journalists? that are now themselves under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC Chair Christopher Cox said the subpoenas for the journalists, James Cramer, founder of TheStreet.com (NASDAQ: TSCM), and host of CNBC?s ?Mad Money,? Herb Greenberg, formerly with TheStreet.com when the activities being investigated are believed to have taken place, but now with MarketWatch, a Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) unit, and Carol Remond, a reporter for the Dow Jones Newswires, are on ?hold? while the Commission comes up with a new ?policy? over the next two weeks.

A former high-placed staffer at the SEC has told FinancialWire that the SEC has some serious morale problems at the staff level over this incident, but that in the end, ?there is no question but that the subpoenas will prevail.?

A poll conducted at investrendinformation.com showed that 96% of those voting in the financial community support the SEC enforcement staff over SEC Chair Christopher Cox, and believe that Cox should be ?rebuked? for interfering.

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., meanwhile, is part of an investigation by state regulators over its perceived role in naked short selling, specifically what a former board member calls an ?endemic? of fails-to-deliver.

For up-to-the-minute news, features and links click on financialwire.net

FinancialWire is an independent, proprietary news service of Investrend Information, a division of Investrend Communications, Inc. It is not a press release service and receives no compensation for its news or opinions. Other divisions of Investrend, however, provide shareholder empowerment platforms such as forums, independent research and webcasting. For more information or to receive the FirstAlert daily summary of news, commentary, research reports, webcasts, events and conference calls, click on investrend.com

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