(Bloomberg) A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring companies like Boeing Inc. and Apple Inc. to disclose whether any “conflict minerals” are used in their products violates their free-speech rights, an appeals court in Washington said.

The rule was part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act overhauling regulations of securities markets and applies to certain minerals, including gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, mined in Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring countries. It was intended to help ensure that use of the minerals didn’t benefit armed groups responsible for violence in the region.

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