SEC won't appeal ruling vs disclosing payments abroad

Tue Sep 3, 2013 6:40pm EDT
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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators said on Tuesday they would not appeal federal court's decision from July to toss out a new rule requiring oil, natural gas and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to foreign governments.

Instead, the Securities and Exchange Commission will redraft the so-called "resource extraction" rule to address the judge's concerns, and start the process all over again, SEC spokesman John Nester said.

"The court remanded the matter for further SEC proceedings, which the commission will undertake informed by the court's decision."

Nester did not provide a timetable for the new proposal.

The rule was required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, and is among its most controversial provisions.

The SEC did not provide a reason for its decision not to appeal. However, the appeals court in Washington, D.C. has handed victories to industry groups that have challenged the agency's rules in the past.

Carlton Carroll, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, which had challenged the rule, said the industry group looks forward to working with the SEC to rewrite it in a manner that will not harm the "competitiveness of American businesses."

In early July, U.S. District Judge John Bates tossed out the rule after the API and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a legal challenge. The groups said it would impose enormous costs on the industry and that it goes outside the scope of congressional intent by forcing all of the data to be publicly disseminated to investors.   Continued...

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst