Two members of the House of Representatives asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Palantir Technologies Inc.’s disclosures and governance ahead of the controversial software company’s Wednesday direct listing.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., wrote a letter Sept. 17 requesting that the SEC investigate several elements of Palantir’s
filing for a direct listing and request further disclosure. Specifically, the two members of Congress wanted more information on the company’s work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on coronavirus data.
“Palantir must provide greater transparency to potential investors about the data protections or lack thereof associated with its government contracts, and further information about the U.S. and non-U.S. government entities for which it is working on data related to the COVID-19 crisis,” the representatives wrote. “This is of paramount importance to investors and the public, as Palantir Chief Operating Office Shyam Sankar recently characterized the company’s work for multiple governments to manage and process data in response to the COVID-19 crisis as the new ‘driving thrust of the company.’”
“I was not aware of those requests,” Sankar said in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday immediately after Palantir’s shares began trading. He added that “part of this process was a pretty sensitive back and forth with the SEC” on a variety of topics, which led to 11 total versions of the company’s S-1 filing with the SEC. Three of those versions were publicly posted after the letter was sent, one on Sept. 18 and two on Sept. 21, when Palantir added language about its unique share structure and then removed it after a TechCrunch report detailed the new disclosures.
For more: Five things to know about the Palantir