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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jonathan : Blogs As A Vehicle For Fair Disclosure

Came across this interesting campaign by Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz. Jonathan publishes the letter that he had recently sent to SEC asking that the commission “requesting a clarification of Regulation FD aimed at listed companies sharing information equitably. He observes that FD doesn't recognize the internet, or a blog, as the exclusive vehicle through which the public can be fairly informed. FD regulation compliance means corporates need to rely on hold what he calls as an anachronistic telephonic conference call, or issue a press release. He argues, none of those routes are as accessible to the general public as a this blog, or Sun's web site. After the blogs don't require a subscription, or even registration, and are available to anyone, across the globe, with an internet connection and all these can happen simultaneously. The post contains therein the letter sent to SEC as well.

As adopted, Regulation Fair Disclosure's requirement of widespread dissemination can be met through the filing of a Form 8-K or "through another method (or combination of methods) of disclosure that is reasonably designed to provide broad, non-exclusionary distribution of the information to the public." (17 C.F.R Sec. 243.101(e)(2)) To date, the SEC has not taken the position that the Regulation's "widespread dissemination" requirement can be satisfied through disclosure through the web-postings alone. While that may have been a pragmatic approach in 2000, we believe that the proliferation of the Internet supports a new policy that online communications fully satisfy Regulation FD’s broad distribution requirement.
Our corporate website (www.sun.com) currently receives on average of nearly a million hits per day. This website includes a blog that I write as CEO of Sun Microsystems (www.blogs.sun.com/jonathan), as well as the blogs of over 4,000 of our other employees. My blog is syndicated across the Internet by use of RSS technology; thus, its content is "pushed" to subscribers. This website is a tremendous vehicle for the broad delivery of timely and robust information about our company. It is our view that proprietary news outlets are insufficiently accessible to the broad majority of Internet users and individual shareholders. It is certainly the case that the Internet represents a broader user base than those able to afford subscriptions to traditional forms of media and thus usage of this or any other freely available company blog or web site should be considered sufficient in satisfying the objectives of Regulation Fair Disclosure

Right call at the right time - but in the age where scandals of backdating stockoptions abound - one will have to really thinkthrough te idea.Also it is a great experience for stakeholders to get an opportunity to grill the guys running corporations. I think that experience should be never allowed to go passe. The blogosphere need to gain more respect amongst the corporate community and Jonthan is a prime example of CEO's blogging. I do agree with Jonathan that over a perios of time, the blog mechanism should be begin to be viewed as ONE of the media for disseminating corporate developments that need to be distributed fairly.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"