Open-Internet, Taiwan-Glaucus, Kirilenko: Compliance

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler revised his open-Internet proposal to include possible changes that service providers say could lead to price regulation.

Wheeler’s proposal May 12 included language to bring Internet services under tougher oversight after his initial plan to allow paid fast lanes for Web traffic drew resistance from other FCC commissioners. The new plan doesn’t change his preference for a case-by-case approach on a pay-for-priority system, said an agency official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposal hasn’t been made public.

The new wording lets the FCC consider a tougher approach urged by advocacy groups, who say the agency needs to protect “net neutrality,” the concept that all Web traffic be treated equally.

Wheeler’s revised open-Internet plan offers more checks on Web fast lanes than his earlier proposal, which had sparked a backlash with companies such as Google Inc. that say the idea poses a “grave threat” to an open Internet. He set a preliminary vote for tomorrow.

Compliance Action

Taiwan Regulator Recommends Criminal Investigation for Glaucus

Taiwan’s financial regulator asked prosecutors to probe short seller Glaucus Research Group California LLC for allegedly spreading false information about Asia Plastic Recycling Holding Ltd. and for share manipulation.

The Financial Supervisory Commission’s request was received May 12, Huang Mou-hsin, a spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, said yesterday. Huang declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

Asia Plastic Recycling last month rejected as groundless Glaucus’s allegations that its “financial numbers” were 90 percent lower than stated. Soren Aandahl, director of research at Glaucus, couldn’t be reached for comment outside of normal business hours.

Former Exane Europe Sales-Trading Head Cleared in Insider Probe

Clive Roberts, the former head of European sales trading at Exane BNP Paribas, was cleared by the U.K. markets regulator and dropped from its insider-trading investigation four years after he was arrested, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Roberts, 51, received a letter from the Financial Conduct Authority May 12 notifying him the case was being dismissed, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the correspondence is private. He was arrested in 2010 and has been interviewed by the FCA twice since then, the person said.

Roberts was arrested as part of the FCA’s largest insider-trading probe, known as Operation Tabernula. Nine men have been charged in the investigation.

Roberts declined to comment, and his lawyer, Jeremy Summers, didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Lara Joseph, a spokeswoman with the FCA, declined to comment on the decision.

KBR Says SEC Opens Probe; Company Will Delay 10-Q Filing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has informed KBR Inc. that it opened an investigation into matters disclosed in an 8-K filed by the company May 5. KBR expects to amend the 2013 10-K as soon as practicable.

It will not file its March 31 so-called 10-Q filing until after its amended 10-K filing, the company said.

KBR said May 5 that it found estimated costs to complete on seven Canadian contracts awarded from 2012 to 2013 would require pretax charges of $158 million and 2013 financial statements would be restated.

KBR received a waiver May 9 under its five-year revolving credit agreement regarding compliance with representations, warranties and covenants. The waiver relates to certain defaults triggered by the restatement of its 2013 10-K.


High-Speed Trading Firms Should Register, Ex-CFTC Economist Says

High-speed trading in U.S. futures markets is being dominated by a small number of firms that should be forced to register with regulators to ensure adequate oversight, Andrei Kirilenko, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s former chief economist, was expected to tell lawmakers yesterday.

He made the remarks in testimony prepared for a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on high-frequency trading.

The firms, which can account for more than half of trading volume in some markets, should face new record-keeping rules and be required to have consistent policies and safeguards, according to Kirilenko, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He urged creating a broad registration category for “automated brokers and traders,” according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg News.

Scott O’Malia, a Republican CFTC commissioner, said last week that the agency is beginning to consider regulatory proposals.

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