On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Robinhood designated specific stocks “position closing only,” meaning that customers could not purchase additional shares in those stocks. The targeted stocks included GameStop (NYSE: GME), AMC (NYSE: AMC), Blackberry (NYSE: BB), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Koss Corporation (NYSE: KOSS), and Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR).
Robinhood was joined by other online brokers, including TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab & Co, Inc, Interactive Brokers, LLC, Webull Financial, LLC, E*Trade Securities LLC, who all implemented trading restrictions on targeted securities. These online brokerage firms, including Robinhood, intentionally deprived their customers, without notice, of the ability to use their service in order to slow the growth of the targeted “meme stock” securities.
As the trading restrictions were put into place by the online brokerage firms, including Robinhood, retail investors watched helplessly as the value of their positions plummeted with no potential to remediate the positions given the wrongful sale pressure initiated by Robinhood and others.