Universal Internet Availability of Proxy Materials
We are proposing amendments to the proxy rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that would require issuers and other soliciting persons to furnish proxy materials to shareholders by posting them on an Internet Web site and providing shareholders with notice of the availability of the proxy materials. In a separate release, we concurrently are adopting rules that allow issuers and other soliciting persons to voluntarily furnish proxy materials to shareholders in this manner. The proposed amendments are intended to provide all shareholders with the ability to choose the means by which they receive proxy materials, to expand use of the Internet to ultimately lower the costs of proxy solicitations, and to improve shareholder communications.
Internet Availability of Proxy Materials
We are adopting amendments to the proxy rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that provide an alternative method for issuers and other persons to furnish proxy materials to shareholders by posting them on an Internet Web site and providing shareholders with notice of the availability of the proxy materials. Issuers must make copies of the proxy materials available to shareholders on request, at no charge to shareholders. The amendments put into place processes that will provide shareholders with notice of, and access to, proxy materials while taking advantage of technological developments and the growth of the Internet and electronic communications. Issuers that rely on the amendments may be able to significantly lower the costs of their proxy solicitations that ultimately are borne by shareholders. The amendments also might reduce the costs of engaging in a proxy contest for soliciting persons other than the issuer. The amendments do not apply to business combination transactions. The amendments also do not affect the availability of any existing method of furnishing proxy materials.