Microsoft's change, and what it means to business journalists
Erik Sherman of BNet.com writes Thursday about Microsoft’s decision to no longer issue earnings releases through newswires, and what that might mean to business reporters covering the company.
Sherman writes, “One of the methods that has been common is to file press releases on newswires so that the press and interested individuals could in theory get the information as quickly as any insider. The releases were often in addition to SEC 8K filings, although, technically, a company could do one or the other.
“The irony is that the change happened at the time that Internet use was exploding. However, the SEC did not want to allow companies to simply post information on their web sites because Internet access was still far from universal.
“Even as use increased, there was no clear rule to say that placing information on a company’s web site would have enough impact as to eliminate the need for other types of distribution. Even as recently as two years ago, corporate lawyers and former SEC officials told me that no companies had yet met the SEC’s criteria for having enough impact.”
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