Has The OTCBB Been Replaced By The OTCQX And OTCQB?

by Laura Anthony, Esq. on December 09, 2010 in FINRA, OTC Market, OTCBB, OTCQB, OTCQB and OTCQX, OTCQX, Pinksheets, Small Cap Market

Over the past few years, the historical “PinkSheets” has undergone some major changes, starting with the creation of certain “tiers” of issuers and culminating in its newly refurbished website and new URL www.otcmarkets.com. Where the term “PinkSheets” used to denote an over the counter quotation system using the website www.pinksheets.com it now simply refers to the lower tier of entities that trade on the over the counter market. In fact the URL www.pinksheets.com no longer exists with users being redirected to the new www.otcmarkets.com.

Three Levels of Reporting

The new www.otcmarkets.com divides issuers into three (3) levels: OTCQX; OTCQB and PinkSheets. The new website also provides quotes for the OTCBB but it seems this is just more as a comfort or segue until the industry gets used to the idea that the “bulletin board” is no more. The OTCBB has no particular listing or quotation requirements other than that the issuer be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and be current in their reports. As noted below this is the exact same requirement for issuers on the OTCQB.

OTCQX

Issuers on the OTCQX must be fully reporting and current in their reporting obligations with the SEC and also undergo a quality review by industry professionals. Issuers on the OTCQB must be fully reporting and current in their reporting obligations with the SEC but do not undergo additional quality review. Issuers on the PinkSheets are not required to be reporting with the SEC. However, such issuers are then further qualified based on the level of voluntary information provided to the www.otcmarkets.com. Issuers with no information are denoted by a skull and crossbones, where Issuers with information analogous to that contained in a 15c2-11 application, are denoted with a “current information” symbol and those in between by a “limited information” symbol.

SEC and FINRA Reporting Requirements

Although the entire over the counter market is regulated by the SEC and FINRA, both www.otcmarkets.com and www.otcbb.com are now privately owned and merely serve as quotation mediums. Moreover, www.otcmarkets.com is more user friendly and up to date than www.otcbb.com. In fact, FINRA just sold www.otcbb.com and its trademark to an independent third party, in an effort to remove itself from operating the over the counter market to overseeing the market and being its primary regulator. So if all over the counter quotes can be found at www.otcmarkets.com and companies trading on the OTCQB have the exact same standards as the OTCBB, and FINRA is no longer directly associated with the OTCBB; where does that leave the OTCBB? I believe as an acronym which will soon find itself antiquated.

Securities Attorney Laura Anthony

Securities attorney Laura Anthony provides expert legal advice and ongoing corporate counsel to small public Companies as well as private Companies seeking to go public on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board Exchange (OTCBB). Ms. Anthony counsels private and small public Companies nationwide regarding reverse mergers, due diligence on public shells, corporate transactions and all aspects of securities law.

Ms. Anthony is the Founding Partner of Legal & Compliance, LLC, a national corporate, securities and civil litigation law firm based in West Palm Beach, Florida. The firm’s corporate and securities attorneys provide technical legal services to small and mid-size private and public (OTCBB) Companies, entrepreneurs, and business professionals nationwide. Contact us today for a FREE consultation!


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