June 6, 2010
Parts of Section 202.06(C) of the NYSE Listed Company Manual are redundant and out of date.
The NYSE Listed Company Manual requires issuers to provide information to the media not by electronic means, such as email or web feed, but "by telephone, facsimile, or hand delivery, or some combination of such methods." This is not how the media works in 2010.
More to the point, however, given the experience of the Commission and Nasdaq that disclosures via any Reg FD-compliant method are widely accepted by the market and that filings on Form 8-K are routinely picked up by the media, the media notification requirements of 202.06 (C) are redundant of 202.06 (A). In practice, filings on Form 8-K or 6-K (and any other form) are distributed to the media via the EDGAR Public Dissemination Service, or they can be picked up from EDGAR manually or received via the free Atom feeds that EDGAR provides.
The media also routinely receive information from issuers in a wide variety of other ways that may be Reg FD compliant. For example, the media frequently pick up information from company websites and properly noticed webcasts. In fact, news services such as Bloomberg use website spiders that monitor and scrape information from company websites and other Internet sources. Retail investors have a similar ability to receive notifications of updates on any web page they specify via Google alerts or Google Reader.
I many cases, any new information posted to listed company websites is routinely pushed out to the public via RSS and email alerts and can be indexed and shown in public search engine indexes within minutes. And companies are rapidly adopting newer technologies that provide real-time distribution of information. For instance, more than 900 public companies currently push out alerts via social networks such as Twitter, and many journalists and investors use these methods to track information about companies they are interested in.
In practice then, any Reg FD-compliant method of disclosure results in information being distributed to the media, the marketplace and the public at large. Consequently, companies that comply with Section 202.06 (A)of the NYSE Listed Company Manual are in effect complying with the media notification requirements under 202.06 (C).
As such the media notification parts of 202.06 (C) are unnecessary and create an unreasonable burden on issuers listed on the NYSE by forcing them to deliver by hand, fax or phone in information the media already receives electronically.