Google, Nyse Technolgies and Thomson Reuters are among 31 firms to throw their hats into the ring to build a consolidated audit trail (CAT) system to monitor and analyse US trading activity.
Last summer, the SEC voted to force US exchanges and Finra to build the CAT system in a bid to increase the data available for investigating illegal activities and monitoring overall market structure.
The move was in large part a response to the 6 May 2010 'flash crash', with the SEC deciding that in a world dominated by electronic market makers and high-frequency traders, with activity measured in milliseconds and microseconds, a central database will "significantly enhance" its ability to deal with a data deluge and regulate the US equity markets.
The exchanges and Finra were told to submit a plan detailing how they would develop, implement, and maintain the CAT system, which must collect and accurately identify every order, cancellation, modification, and trade execution for all listed equities and equity options across all US markets. The data will be aggregated and housed in a newly-created central repository.
This week, the group published a list of firms that replied to its request for proposal on a Web site dedicated to the process. As well as technology giants such as Google, IBM and Wipro, specialists including Cinnober, SunGard Data Systems and LSE-owned Millennium IT, as well as Bats, Finra and Nasdaq OMX themselves, say that they intend to bid.
A bidders conference will take place tomorrow, with final bids needing to be in by 25 April. The exchanges and Finra will then make their pick and submit their plans to regulators in December.