The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 19 freed companies to discuss pending mergers before the registration or proxy statement is filed.

In exchange for lifting the gag on such communications, the SEC is now requiring merging companies to file with the agency copies of all documents given to investors on the day they are first used. These materials will be available for investors to review online on the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval disclosure system.

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