March 4, 2024

Willkie’s Investigations & Enforcement Practice Group recently brought a swift resolution to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation on behalf of Rumble Inc., an online video streaming platform. 
The investigation, launched in November 2023, followed a campaign by a short-seller who had purported to reveal that Rumble inflated its user numbers in a classic fraud on the market and its investors. After the SEC initiated the investigation, its Freedom of Information Act office happened to confirm the existence of the agency’s confidential, non-public investigation, resulting in a run on Rumble’s stock. 
Willkie swiftly responded to the SEC’s requests, disproving the allegations of the short-seller and vindicating Rumble’s business practices. Having eroded the credibility of the short-seller, Willkie brought the investigation to a rapid conclusion, with the SEC closing its investigation after approximately six weeks (relative to 21 months – the approximate average length of time it takes to secure a declination with the SEC). The firm’s forthright strategy, which included navigating the short-seller controversy and managing sensitive media issues, also headed-off the short-seller attack on Rumble.
The Willkie team was led by partners William Stellmach and Sean Sandoloski and included associate Erik Holmvik.