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Study Finds Time Advantage in Distribution of SEC Filings

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Researchers investigating whether corporate documents are distributed to investors fairly by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found evidence that some paying subscribers got the information first.

An examination of almost 18,000 filings by professors at the University of Chicago and University of Colorado found the commission’s Edgar system usually posted documents to its website after an electronic feed run by an outside vendor sent them to subscribers. The study of Form 4s, which track changes to stock holdings by company directors and officers, showed an average timing advantage of about 10 seconds.