Judge Scolds SEC in Siebel Reg FD Case

The WSJ is reporting tonight that a judge has scoldingly ruled against the SEC in its Reg FD case against Siebel Systems. (The software company had been accused of disclosing financial performance information to large institutional shareholders, but not disclosing that information widely to other smaller shareholders.)

The ruling is available here, but one its harshest parts is as follows:

Applying Regulation FD in an overly regressive manner cannot effectively encourage full and complete and public disclosure of facts reasonably deemed relevant to investment decisionmaking. It provides no clear guidance for companies to conform their conduct in compliance with Regulation FD. Instead, the enforcement of Regulation FD by excessively scrutinizing vague general comments has a potential chilling effect which can discourage, rather than encourage, public disclosure of material information.