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Exchanges Target SEC Official in Dispute over Market Data Fees

The major stock exchanges which have been in a long dispute with the SEC over market data fees, accused the director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets of having ethical conflicts and improper influence on legal proceedings because of his prior industry experience.  Last year, the SEC ruled againstthe NYSE and Nasdaq in a legal challenge brought by SIFMA, the trade group for brokers and other asset management firms. According to the Wall Street Journal report, JPMorgan was a member of SIFMA, which originally challenged the fees before the SEC in 2013, triggering the litigation now at the appeals court. The exchanges had sought to increase fees charged for market data and the SEC found that the exchanges had not justified the price increases; the exchanges are appealing the regulatory decision. The exchanges allege that the SEC’s process has been infected with “misconduct” and pointed to Brett Redfearn’s tenure at JPMorgan before he joined the Division of Trading and Markets in 2017. Redfearn served as global head of market structure at JPMorgan and in his role communicated with SIFMA amid its challenge to the exchanges’ fee increases, the WSJ reported.

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