Mario Gabelli, Leslie Moonves, and David Zaslav make tens of millions of dollars annually, which routinely lands them on lists of the highest-paid corporate chiefs in the U.S.

Now the government is poised to shine a brighter spotlight on how much more they earn than their employees, handing interest groups a new weapon to use when protesting rising income inequality.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), facing intense corporate opposition, is planning to vote as soon as August 5 on a rule that will force public companies to publish a ratio that compares the chief executive officer's reported pay with that of their typical worker, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the agency's schedule isn't public.

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