Fallout from Reddit-driven stock rallies, GameStop purchase ban continues

The impact of the skyrocketing shares of GameStop fueled by online discussions on Reddit continued to snowball on Friday, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying it will investigate why certain online trading platforms blocked users from purchasing highly volatile stocks and if illegal market manipulation spurred the recent surge in stocks such as GameStop.

In a statement, the agency said it was “closely monitoring and evaluating the extreme price volatility of certain stocks’ trading prices over the past several days” and would “review actions taken by regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly inhibit their ability to trade certain securities.”

Read more about the SEC’s announcement here.

REMOVING REVIEWS: In response to Robinhood’s decision decision to block users from buying or trading stocks that were popular on a Reddit subforum, users on Reddit pushed for a campaign to leave one-star reviews of the app leading to an influx of negative reviews of the it in the Google Play store.

Google removed at least 100,000 negative reviews of the app from its store, The Verge and Gizmodo reported.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed to The Hill that the company took action on reviews found to be inauthentic or in violation of the company’s policy.

Read more here.

LAWYERING UP: Amid mounting scrutiny over the decision to stop trading GameStop and other companies whose stock skyrocketed this week, Robinhood is hiring to bulk up its lobbying portfolio.

Robinhood posted a job listing for an in-house lobbyist on Friday.

The day-to-day description for the federal affairs manager role prioritized working on federal government relations with a primary focus on Congress, as well as facilitating participation in industry associations and navigating policy.