SEC Rules Blogs Are Public Disclosure, What Does This Mean for the Press Release?

In a landmark announcement yesterday, the Securities Exchange Committee (SEC), ruled that companies can use their blog to disclose material information such as earnings reports.

From the IR WebReport:

“UNDER certain circumstances, companies can rely on their websites and blogs to meet the public disclosure requirements under Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure), according to new guidance unanimously approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission today.”

Over at TechCrunch, Brian Solis writes:

Perhaps, the most significant change stemming from the new SEC guidance is that Web-based disclosure does not have to appear in a format comparable to paper-based information, unless the Commission’s rules explicitly require it.

This can be viewed as a threat to the wire services, as Solis elaborates, “A significant percentage of their lifeblood is tied to market-relevant or earnings content that, until now, required wire services, and hundreds of dollars (in some cases over $1,000) per announcement in order to satisfy SEC disclosure.” Surely, all of this is in a very early stage, as the announcement is less than 24-hours old. However, it could prove to be a game changing development in terms of disclosure.