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Shopping.com to resume trading

The company plans to resume trading of its shares after a surprise suspension by the SEC, while a brokerage firm sues five former employees.

Shopping.com (IBUY) today announced plans to resume trading of its shares after a surprise suspension by the Securities and Exchange Commission, while a brokerage firm sued five former employees in a lawsuit related to trading of the high-flying Net stock.

The 10-day suspension arose "due to a lack of current and accurate information regarding the securities of Shopping.com related to market activity in the stock that may have been the result of manipulative trading conduct," the SEC announced at the time.

In a statement today, Shopping.com said that Nasdaq is now processing Shopping.com's "information and market makers packages, allowing for the resumption of published quotations on the OTC Bulletin Board, which could take up to five days."

The SEC's action caught many traders and industry executives by surprise. Shopping.com is an e-commerce site backed by Net entrepreneur Bill Gross's Idealab. Its stock has shot up since going public last year--joining many other Net shares in a steep runup.

In the lawsuit, Waldron & Co. is seeking $10 million in damages from five of its former employees who now work as stockbrokers at another firm.

"The suit brings a complaint for defamation and additional charges of interference with business relations, and is in response to national news accounts in which the defendants alleged manipulation by Waldron & Co.," the brokerage firm said in a statement. "The allegations are solely related to trading in the stock of Shopping.com."

In a brief filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Waldron "emphatically denies any and all wrongdoing in connection with the allegations" brought by the former employees.

Waldron was the lead underwriter for the Shopping.com IPO. The former employees could not be reached for comment.