Brussels (April 15, 2003) - The European Union Commission has petitioned Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson to exempt European audit firms from registration with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Dow Jones reported.

In a letter to Donaldson, E.U. Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said registration would add "an unnecessary, expensive second layer of regulatory control." The EU also added that the proposals would result in "serious conflicts of law" with EU and member states’ regulations.

If a compromise could not be reached, Bolkestein warned that it would most likely result in requirements that U.S. audit firms register with EU member states.

-- WebCPA staff

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