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Regulation FD Applies to Disclosure made through Social Media Channels

On April 2, 2013 the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) published a report of its investigation on whether Netflix, Inc. (“Netflix”) and its Chief Executive Officer, Reed Hastings (“Hastings”), violated Regulation FD and Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 when on July 3, 2012, Hastings announced on his personal Facebook page that Netflix had streamed 1 billion hours of content in the month of June. Though the SEC did not pursue enforcement action in the matter, it clarified in its report that Regulation FD applies to issuer communications and disclosures through social media channels, and that SEC’s Commission Guidance on the Use of Company Web Sites, Release No. 34-58288 (Aug. 7, 2008) (the “Guide”) also applies to corporate disclosures made through social media channels. The report also suggests that Regulation FD and the Guide apply to “push” technologies, such as email alerts and RSS feeds, and “interactive” communication tools, such as blogs.