On February 22, 2010, the US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to its e-proxy rules. Although the new rules will become effective on March 29, 2010 and will apply to shareholder meetings held in mid-May or later, the SEC Staff has taken the position that companies may voluntarily adopt the new rules early for meetings in Spring 2010. The new rules are intended to help boost shareholder response rates to proxy solicitations by reducing confusion caused by the current requirements for e-proxy materials. The new rules allow companies to replace the boilerplate "legend" on notices with more general guidelines and an explanation of the e-proxy voting method and why the company is using it. The new rules also relax the notice mailing deadlines for soliciting persons other than the company.
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