U.S. lawmaker says Robinhood decision to bar some retail stock purchases 'unacceptable'

A GameStop store is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday criticized the decision of online trading platform Robinhood to restrict retail trading in shares of GameStop and other companies that have seen dramatic gains this week attributed to social-media driven trading.

Ocasio-Cortez said the move was “unacceptable,” adding Congress needs to know more about Robinhood’s decision “to block retail investors from purchasing stock while hedge funds are freely able to trade the stock as they see fit.”

She said the House Financial Services Committee investigation should not be limited to Robingood but “should examine any retail services freezing stock purchases in the course of potential investigations - especially those allowing sales, but freezing purchases.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Doina Chiacu