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W hen Overstock.com went public last week, the company sold shares through a rarely used banking technique — the Dutch auction — that allows the general public to set the offering price through bids, rather than having the bank sell shares to its clients exclusively at a preset price.

Morrison & Foerster represented the underwriters, W.R. Hambrecht & Co. and Cantor Fitzgerald, on Overstock.com’s IPO. Hambrecht, like other investment banks, has its own Dutch auction process called an open IPO, and is one of the pioneers in that method of banking.

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