The SEC has adopted new auditor independence rules with several notable changes from the original rule proposal.

"The Commission's staff has heard the specific concerns of all of the Big 5 firms and the AICPA, and the final rule reflects, to a great extent, their concerns," said Arthur Levitt, chairman of the SEC. "I firmly believe that today's results strikes a balance that serves the interests of America's investors while remaining flexible and adaptable for the unforeseen changes in tomorrow's marketplace."

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