Public company priorities for the new year
Looking ahead to 2013, directors, executives and general counsel of public companies can take some solace from the fact that 2012 was not a year in which a large number of significant new disclosure rules or governance requirements were adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the stock exchanges as had regularly been the case in the prior 10 years. Aside from the impact of relaxed securities regulation under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 applicable to “emerging growth companies,” 2012 has seen the least amount of new disclosure and governance regulation applicable to U.S. public companies since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 launched a decade of steadily increasing regulation of public companies.
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In a speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges on 14 January 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Commissioner responsible for Competition, stated that the Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel investigations in 2013, using the settlement procedure instituted in July 2008.
On 24 January 2013, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee of the European Parliament endorsed a new Regulation setting out customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.