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SEC asks Exchanges to Revisit Market Data Access Fees

The SEC recently issued a decision that concluded the NYSE Arca, Inc. and Nasdaq Stock Market LLC had not met their burden to show that certain fees the exchanges charged for data used to measure market demand were fair and reasonable under the securities laws.  SEC Chairman Jay Clayton cautioned, however, that the SEC’s decision does not mean the fees were too high, “rather it means that the exchanges have not provided sufficient factual and legal support to continue to charge those fees.”  The SEC also sent back to the exchanges for review 400 other challenges to market data and market access fees that were filed with the Commission in the last several years.  A report in Pensions & Investments cited positive reactions from institutional investor groups after the decision, with industry representatives hoping the SEC’s order could lead to lower fees and improved market data access practices. Competitors with the exchanges see the ruling as a move toward more transparency and disclosure.