In December 2019, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance on (1) confidential treatment applications and (2) intellectual property and technology risks that may occur when companies engage in international operations.

The guidance is available here and here.

On January 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a proposed order to improve the governance of National Market System (NMS) data plans that produce consolidated equity market data and disseminate trade and quote data. Currently, the equities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (the Participants) together collect, consolidate and disseminate information regarding trades and quotes in NMS stocks pursuant to three separate national market system plans.
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On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments (the Proposal) to the definition of “accredited investor” for purposes of private placements under Regulation D and the definition of “qualified institutional buyer” in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933. The Proposal is intended to update and improve the definitions of those terms in order to more effectively identify both institutional and individual investors with the sophistication to participate in private capital markets transactions. In the SEC’s press release announcing the Proposal, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton noted that, “The current test for individual accredited investor status takes a binary approach to who does and does not qualify based only [on] a person’s income or net worth. Modernization of this approach is long overdue.” As highlighted in the fact sheet included in the press release, the Proposal would, among other things:
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On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose new rules to require resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to foreign governments or the US government for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals, as required by Section 13(q) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act).
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On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted some amendments to its rules concerning the cross-border application of certain security-based swap requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and issued a statement that it will be allowing some time-limited relief for reporting parties when security-based swap reporting goes into effect.
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