The US Securities and Exchange Commission has heeded the demands of Internet giants such as Google and Yahoo! and agreed to review a recent round of previously approved fee hikes for market data usage proposed by the New York Stock Exchange (Nyse).
NetCoalition, the Washington-based lobby group heading the complaints, says the SEC has agreed to review a ruling that would allow the Nyse to charge $5 per month per user for stock quotes on the Arca electronic exchange
NetCoalition claims that the majority of US's estimated 50 million retail investors rely on financial Web sites as the primary source of information on companies and Nyse's proposed fee puts access to the data beyond the "reasonable economic reach of an advertiser-supported medium like the Internet".
The SEC says the review applies only to the Arca proposal.; the new Nyse fees have not yet gone into effect, and will be stayed pending final review.
NetCoalition has also called a wider review of how US stock exchanges charge for market data. Fees from market data generate about 10% of revenues of both the Nyse and Nasdaq, and the proportion is greater for regional exchanges, such as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Chicago-based National Stock Exchange.
But moves by exchanges to impose greater fees on market data have already led some Internet companies to stop publishing live quotes. In September AOL, which is not a member of NetCoalition, stopped displaying real-time data after exchanges began charging $1 per month per viewer for electronic marketplace data.