Nasdaq plan for key stock exchange data draws rebuke from Bats
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Pedestrians walk past the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York's Times Square in this June 4, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files
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By John McCrank
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bats Global Markets (NYSE: BATS) on Monday accused rival exchange operator Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ) of attempting to boost revenues by proposing a new network to access industry data essential to U.S. stock market operations.
The data is related to systems called securities information processors, or SIPs, which consolidate all the stock quotes and last sales prices from the 13 U.S. stock exchanges. Regulators use the information to determine the best market prices, which brokers must give their clients when executing trades.
Nasdaq customers, such as broker-dealers and market makers, can receive the data through a paid connection for the New York-based exchange's proprietary data products, or through third-party vendors.
Nasdaq's proposed new network would require subscribers to pay for additional connectivity for direct access to the SIP and other third-party data, according to an Aug. 29 regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
That would ensure that market participants have enough capacity to receive the data during peak demand, Nasdaq said in the filing.
Bats, in a letter on Monday, urged the SEC to reject the proposal.
"Bats believes the true driver for the creation of a third-party network is the prospect of increasing the number of physical connections, thereby increasing Nasdaq's revenue," Bats wrote.
Bats, based in Kansas City, Missouri, cited a recent filing by Intercontinental Exchange Inc's (NYSE: ICE) NYSE unit, which runs the SIP for New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks. NYSE said it would continue to allow firms to access its SIP data through the same connection it uses for proprietary data.
Governance of the SIPs has been a contentious issue since August 2013, when a software glitch following unusually high message volume crippled the Nasdaq SIP, leading to a three-hour halt in Nasdaq-listed stocks, including Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB). (http://reut.rs/2cqEJgW)(http://reut.rs/2cqEJgW)(http://reut.rs/2cq8w5X)
Nasdaq immediately set about identifying ways to make the system more resilient, including moving the SIP over to the same technology used to run its exchanges.
While the SIP operating committee, which includes members from all 13 stock exchanges, approved the upgrades in late 2014, Bats said moving the feed to a new network would constitute a new SIP service and fee that were not approved. (http://reut.rs/2c63FLE)
(This version of the story corrects first, fourth and eleventh paragraphs to show that Nasdaq is proposing a new network that carries data feeds, not a new data feed)
(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Richard Chang)
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