SEC Announces New Streamlined Procedure for Confidential Treatment Extensions

May 20, 2019

Last month, The Ticker reported on recent amendments to Regulation S-K that will allow registrants to omit confidential information from most exhibits without filing a confidential treatment request (CTR). Subsequently, on April 16, the SEC announced a streamlined procedure for registrants to apply for an extension of confidential treatment for previously granted requests under the traditional CTR regime.

As explained in the SEC’s announcement: “Registrants that have previously obtained a confidential treatment order for a material contract must continue to file extension applications under Rules 406 or 24b-2 if they want to protect the confidential information from public release pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request after the original order expires. Such applications must be filed prior to the order’s expiration. Refiling the redacted exhibit in the manner specified by the recently adopted redacted exhibit rules will not provide confidential treatment for the previously filed CTR information” (emphasis added).

The SEC’s new extension procedure allows an applicant to submit a “one-page document by which the applicant can affirm that the most recently considered application continues to be true, complete and accurate regarding the information for which the applicant continues to seek confidential treatment.” The extension application form simply requires an applicant to (i) check a box indicating whether it is requesting an additional three, five or ten years of confidential treatment, and (ii) provide a brief reason for its extension request. There is no need to refile the unredacted documents or supporting analysis.

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