Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SEC Issues Guidance on Use of Company Web Sites

The SEC posted on its website its interpretive release to provide guidance regarding the use of company web sites under the Exchange Act and the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. It is soliciting comment on issues relating to company use of technology generally in providing information to investors.  The release notes that:

Given the development and proliferation of company web sites since 2000, and our expectation that continued technological advances will further enhance the quality, not just the quantity, of information delivered and available to investors on such web sites, as well as the speed at which such information reaches the market, we are issuing this interpretive release to provide additional guidance on the use of company web sites with respect to the antifraud provisions and certain relevant Exchange Act provisions of the federal securities laws.

The guidance focuses principally on:

When information posted on a company web site is “public” for purposes of the applicability of Regulation FD;

Company liability for information on company web sites – including previously posted information, hyperlinks to third-party information, summary information and the content of interactive web sites;

The types of controls and procedures advisable with respect to such information; and

The format of information presented on a company web site, with the focus on readability, not printability.

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