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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION PROPOSES RULES AFFECTING COMPANY WEB SITE

May 2002

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule that, if adopted, will require certain U.S. public companies to explain in their annual reports the accessibility of their SEC filings on the company Web site.

Which companies are affected?

U.S. public companies (i) with a public float of at least $75 million; (ii) that have been subject to SEC reporting requirements for at least 12 calendar months; and (iii) that have previously filed at least one annual report.

What will an affected company be required to disclose to the SEC relating to its Web site?

An affected company will be required to disclose, among other things:

  • its Web site address, if any
  • whether it makes its SEC filings available free of charge on its Web site on the same day as the submission of its filing to the SEC and, if not, why.

The proposed rules could impose undue burdens and expenses on companies with Web sites, particularly if a company lacks the resources to make its filings available on its Web site on the same day it files them with the SEC. The failure to do so may even pose a competitive disadvantage. Interested parties can submit written comments to the SEC regarding the proposed rules on or before May 23, 2002.