Wall Street lobbying group The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay any rulings that would allow stock exchanges to charge to deliver real-time stock data to Web sites.
The move by Sifma follows SEC authorisation of new market data pricing by the New York Stock Exchange (Nyse) and its electronic dealing arm Archipelago last year. Under the proposals Nyse/Arca will be able to charge a fee of $5 per month per user for real-time data feeds.
Sifma has called for the SEC to implement a moratorium on market data rule filings until "legal and policy issues" have been resolved.
Until now NyseArca has distributed data to the broker-dealer community and investors free of charge in order to generate liquidity and trading activity, says Sifma, but following plans to impose charges for this data the exchange has "failed to provide any evidence that its proposed fees are fair or reasonable".
"The SEC cannot simply ignore the conflicts of interest inherent in today's for-profit exchanges," says Marc Lackritz, co-CEO of Sifma in a statement. "The exchanges' unique regulatory status allows them to profit from their market data without the threat of competition."
Lackritz says all investors and the professionals who serve them must have access to the same best quotes, based on the best information, to meet best execution obligations.
Earlier this month the SEC agreed to review the Nyse's proposed new fee structure for market data usage following calls from to do so from NetCoalition, a group of some of the Internet's largest financial news sites, including Google and Yahoo!.
Moves by exchanges to impose greater fees on market data have already led some Internet companies to stop publishing live quotes. In September AOL stopped displaying real-time data after exchanges began charging $1 per month per viewer for electronic marketplace data.