NYSE Pays a Paltry $5 million Fine for Giving Private Customers a Trading Head Start

On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had administratively fined the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) $5 million (pdf) for allowing its private customers access to stock market information ahead of when it was available to the general public. This occurred from June 2008 to about mid-May 2010. The fine amounts to about a morning’s worth of revenue for the exchange.

The SEC stated in its settlement accord that the NYSE had violated SEC Rule 603(a) related to the regulation of national market systems (pdf), which “requires that exchanges distribute market data on terms that are ‘fair and reasonable’ and ‘not unreasonably discriminatory.’ This rule prohibits an exchange from releasing data relating to quotes and trades to its customers through proprietary feeds before it sends its quotes and trade reports for inclusion in the consolidated feeds.” [read more..]