The SEC has announced it will soon provide guidance on how a company can use its corporate website to deliver important information to investors. It has been eight years since the Commission last issued guidance on websites. The guidance, which is scheduled to fittingly appear on the SEC’s website soon, is expected to answer the following questions:
- When is information posted on a company website considered “public” and compliant with regulation FD?
- How can a company provide access to historical or archived data without the resulting liability from the data being considered reissued every time it is accessed?
- How can a company link to other websites without having to “adopt” the content for liability purposes?
- Do the securities laws’ antifraud provisions apply to statements made on behalf of the company in blogs and electronic forums? (yes)
- Can shareholders waive the antifraud provisions to participate in the forums? (no)
- When is information posted on a website subject to rules under Sarbanes-Oxley relating to a company’s “disclosure controls and procedures”?
- Does information presented need to be in a “printer-friendly” format? (only when other rules require it)
The guidance is expected to encourage further disclosure on corporate websites.