Digital Disclosure of Company Data in Germany and Europe - Regarding the Implementation of the Disclosure Directive (2003) and the Transparency Directive in Germany
45 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2004
Date Written: October 11, 2004
This paper in German analyzes policy requirements with respect to the accessibility of company data in Germany. Presently, a uniform disclosure system does not exist in Germany. Instead, company data are subject to registration at systems that are organized and administered by the local courts (so called Handelsregister), and published in primarily local newspapers. Other information is accessible at the company website, the websites of the stock exchanges and private information intermediaries, as well as the authorities involved in the supervision of corporate and securities law. The split jurisdiction of the German federal states and the involvement of manifold public, private, and semi-private actors in providing company information imposes significant costs upon the addressees of company information.
In order to stop this uncontrolled growth of the use of media for company disclosure, the Federal German government took a first step in launching an electronic version of the federal bulletin in 2003. However, further legislative steps are required in order to fulfill the conditions of the Disclosure Directive of 2003, as well as those of the (forthcoming) Transparency Directive. These steps include a legislative requirement to register, and store digitally, all company data that is disclosed, and to publish them at one central internet website. The storage and the website together would constitute the German Company Register. Such a central, internet-based disclosure system must fulfill three criteria: (1) permanent storage; (2) immutability; and (3) accessibility for all parties that are interested in company data. The German Company Registrar will be the German contribution to the European Business Registrar.
Note: Downloadable document is in German.
Keywords: Shareholder information, disclosure directive, transparency directive, Germany, disclosure media, electronic filing system, German company register, company data, disclosure, storage, immutability, accessibility, internet
JEL Classification: L10, M10, D8, D82, D83, G14, G18, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation