Earlier this week, the European Commission announced that it was soliciting public comment (termed a “call for evidence in connection with its review of the Market Abuse Directive. This action is a follow-up to a conference held by the European Commission in December 2008, at which the Commission heard from senior policy makers, regulators, academics and market participants.

The Market Abuse Directive is intended to prohibit abusive behavior by insiders, such as insider dealing and market manipulation, and imposes disclosure and reporting requirements to deter abuses. The European Commission is currently reviewing the Directive with the goal of both improving and simplifying the Directive. While the Commission stated that the Directive has had a generally positive effect, certain problem areas were identified. These areas included:

  • the scope of the markets and financial instruments addressed by the Directive;
  • the ability of listed issuers to delay disclosure of inside information;
  • disclosure of inside information by issuers of commodity derivatives; and
  • the ability of authorities to gain access to telephone records and other materials.

The deadline to submit comments is June 10, 2009.