I WOULD announce tomorrow morning that my company will distribute free of charge any news release that any public company anywhere in the world is issuing for securities regulatory reasons.
However, there would be three conditions for disclosure releases to be free:
- The release must be required to be filed in an 8-K or 6-K with the SEC, or a similar such requirement anywhere in the world.
- The company must use a self-help interface and submit its news releases without requiring support from my staff.
- Companies must submit their news to my wire service first or simultaneously to other services.
Companies that need support, additional services, or which use the system to send ineligible releases would pay the full rate. But otherwise, earnings releases and event notices and unscheduled regulated news releases would be free. Given the sheer volume of issuers likely to be attracted to such a service, the collateral services revenues could be large.
And then, once I had cornered the market for all corporate disclosure news releases, I’d look at ways to monetize my enormously valuable asset. The world’s biggest pipe of direct-from-source market-moving news!
Getting disclosure news from companies 10 minutes after they’ve released it elsewhere, as Sun Microsystems is doing, is a threat to the continued efficacy of pay-to-distribute PR wire services.
To remain relevant to the market, firms like Business Wire have to get disclosure news first or simultaneously.
And the only way to ensure that happens is to make disclosure news releases free to the companies that are providing them. Otherwise, it won’t be long before many more companies are thinking like Sun.