Blogging to disclose company info draws newswire backlash
Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz garnered some attention earlier this fall when he posted on his company blog that he believed his firm would comply with Regulation FD if it posted announcements on the blog.
He asked SEC Chairman Christopher Cox for a ruling on the matter, and Cox replied earlier this month that it needed to be studied.
There’s one group, however,Â that’s against such a plan, and that’s the newswires that rely on revenue from companies that pay to have their press releases disseminated to the media, primarily the business media that then often write stories from those releases. If companies simply post these announcements online, they’ll lose revenue.
Dominic Jones, writing on IR Web Report, noted, “We have lots of fear mongering and not much careful consideration of the real issues.
“Letâ€™s be clear about this: no one is asking to let companies put market moving information on their websites whenever it takes their fancy.
“They are simply asking that the SEC and other regulators, like the New York Stock Exchange, revisit recommendations made by former SEC Commissioner Laura Unger in a special study where she wrote:
â€œ’The Commission should make clear that options such as adequately noticed website postings, fully accessible webcasts and electronic mail alerts would satisfy Regulation FD.’
“That was five years ago â€” December 2001, not long after 9/11, around the time that Enron was imploding, and a few months before we got the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, otherwise known as Sarbanes-Oxley.”
Read more here. Jones also noted that Cox’s reply to Schwartz on his blog received 10 times more coverage from the business news media than an SEC release during the same time period.