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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change and Amendment No. 1 Thereto To Establish a New Service and Related Fees

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Start Preamble May 14, 2010.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Start Printed Page 29372(“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on April 26, 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by Nasdaq. On May 13, 2010, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

Nasdaq is proposing to establish a new service and related fees. The Nasdaq Short Sale Volume and Monthly Short Sale Transaction files (the “Service”) will establish a product that is comprised of aggregate reported share volume of executed short sale trades during regular market hours on a daily basis, as well as every short sale executed on the Nasdaq execution system and reported to a consolidated tape for Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and regional exchange-listed securities, including the price of the trade and the number of shares for every short sale transaction, on a monthly basis, separated into daily files.

The text of the proposed rule change is below. Proposed new language is italicized and proposed deletions are in brackets.

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7051. Nasdaq Daily Short Volume and Monthly Short Sale Transaction Files

(a) Daily Short Sale Volume files reflect the aggregate number of shares executed on the Nasdaq market during regular trading hours on a daily basis. At the security level, Nasdaq will show the volume for executed short sale trades, as well as the total trading volume for the Nasdaq market. The file will include short sale data for Nasdaq, NYSE and regional exchange-listed securities.

(b) Monthly Short Sale Transaction files provide a trade-by-trade record of all short sales executed on the Nasdaq execution system and reported to a consolidated tape in Nasdaq, NYSE and regional exchange-listed securities. The file will be provided on a monthly basis, separated into daily files. Historical monthly files are available back to August 2005.

(c) Distributor Fees

(1) The fee for each Distributor of the Short Sale Data Product described in paragraphs (a) and (b) above is $500 per month, which allows the distributor access to the downloadable FTP files and to distribute such files internally and externally.

* * * * *

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, Nasdaq included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. Nasdaq has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

Nasdaq proposes to establish the new Service and related fees that will provide subscribers with market information and increased market transparency that will help bolster investor confidence. Nasdaq believes that in creating these data products it will be addressing the market demand for: (i) A short sale product that is comprised of aggregate reported share volume of executed short sale trades during regular market hours on a daily basis; and (ii) every short sale executed on the Nasdaq execution system and reported to a consolidated tape for Nasdaq, NYSE and regional exchange-listed securities, including the price of the trade and the number of shares for every short sale transaction, on a monthly basis, separated into daily files.

Nasdaq proposes to offer the Service at $500 per subscriber, per month, which allows a distributor access to the downloadable FTP files and to distribute internally and externally. Use of the Service is voluntary. The proposed fee will be applied to offset the costs associated with establishing the Service, responding to customer requests, configuring Nasdaq's systems, programming to user specifications, and administering the service, among other things. To the extent that costs are covered by the proposed fee, the proposed fee may also provide Nasdaq with a profit.

2. Statutory Basis

Nasdaq believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,[3] in general, and Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[4] in particular, in that it provides an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among users and recipients of Nasdaq data. In adopting Regulation NMS, the Commission granted self-regulatory organizations and broker-dealers increased authority and flexibility to offer new and unique market data to the public. It was believed that this authority would expand the amount of data available to consumers, and also spur innovation and competition for the provision of market data.

The Short Sale market data products proposed here appear to be precisely the sort of market data product that the Commission envisioned when it adopted Regulation NMS. The Commission concluded that Regulation NMS—by deregulating the market in proprietary data—would itself further the Act's goals of facilitating efficiency and competition:

[E]fficiency is promoted when broker-dealers who do not need the data beyond the prices, sizes, market center identifications of the NBBO and consolidated last sale information are not required to receive (and pay for) such data. The Commission also believes that efficiency is promoted when broker-dealers may choose to receive (and pay for) additional market data based on their own internal analysis of the need for such data.[5]

By removing “unnecessary regulatory restrictions” on the ability of exchanges to sell their own data, Regulation NMS advanced the goals of the Act and the principles reflected in its legislative history. If the free market should determine whether, proprietary data is sold to broker-dealers at all, it follows that the price at which such data is sold should be set by the market as well.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

Nasdaq does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended. As the Commission has recognized,[6] the market for transaction execution and routing services is highly competitive, and the market for proprietary data products is complementary to it, since Start Printed Page 29373the ultimate goal of such products is to attract further order flow to an exchange. Thus, exchanges lack the ability to set fees for executions or data at inappropriately high levels. Order flow is immediately transportable to other venues in response to differences in cost or value. Similarly, if data fees are set at inappropriate levels, customers that control order flow will not make use of the data and will be more inclined to send order flow to exchanges providing data at fees they consider more reasonable.

The market for proprietary data products is currently competitive and inherently contestable because there is fierce competition for the inputs necessary to the creation of proprietary data and strict pricing discipline for the proprietary products themselves. Numerous exchanges compete with each other for listings, trades, and market data itself, providing virtually limitless opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to produce and distribute their own market data. This proprietary data is produced by each individual exchange, as well as other entities, in a vigorously competitive market.

With regard to the market for executions, broker-dealers currently have numerous alternative venues for their order flow, including multiple competing self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) markets, as well as broker-dealers (“BDs”) and aggregators such as the Direct Edge and LavaFlow electronic communications network (“ECN”). Each SRO market competes to produce transaction reports via trade executions, and FINRA-regulated Trade Reporting Facilities (“TRFs”) compete to attract internalized transaction reports. It is common for BDs to further and exploit this competition by sending their order flow and transaction reports to multiple markets, rather than providing them all to a single market.

Competitive markets for order flow, executions, and transaction reports provide pricing discipline for the inputs of proprietary data products. The large number of SROs, TRFs, and ECNs that currently produce proprietary data or are currently capable of producing it provides further pricing discipline for proprietary data products. Each SRO, TRF, ECN and BD is currently permitted to produce proprietary data products, and many currently do or have announced plans to do so, including Nasdaq, NYSE, Alternext, NYSEArca, and BATS.

Any ECN or BD can combine with any other ECN, broker-dealer, or multiple ECNs or BDs to produce jointly proprietary data products. Additionally, non-BDs such as order routers like LAVA, as well as market data vendors can facilitate single or multiple broker-dealers' production of proprietary data products. The potential sources of proprietary products are virtually limitless.

The fact that proprietary data from ECNs, BDs, and vendors can by-pass SROs is significant in two respects. First, non-SROs can compete directly with SROs for the production and distribution of proprietary data products, as Archipelago and BATS Trading did prior to registering as SROs. Second, because a single order or transaction report can appear in an SRO proprietary product, a non-SRO proprietary product, or both, the data available in proprietary products is exponentially greater than the actual number of orders and transaction reports that exist in the marketplace writ large.

Market data vendors provide another form of price discipline for proprietary data products because they control the primary means of access to end users. Although their business models may differ, vendors exercise pricing discipline because they can simply refuse to purchase any proprietary data product that fails to provide sufficient value. Nasdaq and other producers of proprietary data products must understand and respond to these varying business models and pricing disciplines in order to successfully market proprietary data products.

In addition to the competition and price discipline described above, the market for proprietary data products is also highly contestable because market entry is rapid, inexpensive, and profitable. The history of electronic trading is replete with examples of entrants that swiftly grew into some of the largest electronic trading platforms and proprietary data producers: Archipelago, Bloomberg Tradebook, Island, RediBook, Attain, TracECN, and BATS Trading. Today, BATS publishes its data at no charge on its Web site in order to attract order flow, and it uses market data revenue rebates from the resulting executions to maintain low execution charges for its users.[7] Several ECNs have existed profitably for many years with a minimal share of trading, including Bloomberg Tradebook and LavaFlow.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

A. By order approve such proposed rule change, or

B. Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2010-052. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than Start Printed Page 29374those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for Web site viewing and copying at the principal office of Nasdaq. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2010-052 and should be submitted on or before June 15, 2010.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[8]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005), 70 FR 37496 (June 29, 2005).

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6.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59039 (December 2, 2008), 73 FR 74770 (December 9, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2006-21).

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7.  However, on April 9, 2010 the Commission approved [sic] BATS proposed rule change to begin offering and charging for three new data products, which include BATS Last Sale Feed, BATS Historical Data Products, and a data product called BATS Market Insight. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61885 (April 9, 2010), 75 FR 20018 (April 16, 2010).

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[FR Doc. 2010-12495 Filed 5-24-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P