By Aruna Viswanatha
WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators
denied a request to delay new rules that will require oil, gas
and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign
governments, after business groups also sued to force changes to
In an order dated Thursday, the Securities and Exchange
Commission said the groups had failed to demonstrate the
"imminent, irreparable harm" that is required to grant a stay.
The denial comes as the SEC and other regulators face a
barrage of lawsuits from industry seeking to stop or delay new
financial regulation, much of it stemming from the 2010
The rule at issue is championed by humanitarian
organizations. It aims, in part, to combat corruption abroad by
U.S. energy companies. But industry groups have argued the rule
is far too costly and would give rivals sensitive business
The American Petroleum Institute, the Chamber of Commerce
and other business groups sued the SEC last month and said the
disclosure rule went beyond what was required by the law.
In addition to suing the SEC, the groups separately asked
the SEC to stay the effective date of the rule while the court
considered their challenge, citing the initial compliance costs
and the immediate competitive disadvantage the rule would
But initial compliance costs are usually not considered
irreparable harm, and competitive disadvantage claims are too
speculative, the commission said.
In a statement, API federal relations director Justin
Spickard said: "We've been working hard to increase transparency
for a decade, but this rule could interfere with ongoing efforts
by making U.S. firms less competitive against state owned firms
in China and Russia that have no interest in transparency."
The court overseeing the challenge to the rule established
an expedited schedule for the case and will likely issue a
decision by spring 2013, almost one year before the first
filings would be due, the SEC said.
Under the new rule, companies are expected to include the
information in the 2013 annual reports, due after February 2014,
at the earliest.
Business groups have won several challenges to other
Dodd-Frank rules, giving others ammunition to file new
On Thursday exchange operator CME Group asked a U.S.
court to prevent the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from
enforcing new swap reporting rules stemming from the law.
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