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News 04 Jun. 2013
An article by Curtis Litigation partner Eliot Lauer, counsel Jason Gottlieb, and associate Alyssa Astiz entitled, 'High-Frequency Trading: Are the Exchanges the Next Targets?” was published in Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report on June 3, 2013.
The authors discuss the magnified interest in high-frequency trading and, in particular, the heightened focus on the role of exchanges in high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading — computerized trading based on complex algorithms designed to rapidly analyze the financial markets and execute orders — now accounts for approximately one-half of all U.S. equity trading volume and approximately sixty percent of futures contracts trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. With respect to exchanges, high-frequency trading raises concerns regarding information asymmetries and discriminatory practices. Such concerns stem from exchange-offered paid services, such as direct access feeds and co-location, which allows high-frequency traders to receive data from the exchanges before investors who rely on the aggregate data feeds, minimize their own data transmission time and achieve low latency. In addition, exchanges are under scrutiny surrounding the emergence of exchange created-order types that allow high-frequency traders to leverage their algorithmic capabilities to provide an advantage over other investors without sophisticated technologies.
The authors conclude that, as legislators and regulators continue to prioritize high-frequency trading, we may see more frequent enforcement activity against the exchanges for their role in abusive high-frequency trading conduct.