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The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is launching a consultation on a range of market data issues amid growing concerns about the cost of equity market data.

In a new paper, the group of global regulators examines the subject of market data access.

Investment firms have long complained about the rising cost of market data from exchanges and other trading venues.

Firms have argued that exchanges have turned the provision of essential market data from a utility into a profit centre. As well, they argue that industry firms are a captive audience as they must acquire data to ensure they meet their best execution and other regulatory obligations.

In its paper, IOSCO seeks feedback on the data that firms need to facilitate trading; the fair, equitable and timely access to market data; the cost of data; and the need for data consolidation, among other issues.

“In light of the evolving nature of trading and market data needs, several jurisdictions are contemplating whether regulatory changes are necessary,” the paper noted.

IOSCO said that the consultation is designed to inform the regulatory approach to market data in various jurisdictions.

“Based on the analysis of the feedback received, IOSCO will consider whether any policy work is needed,” it added.

IOSCO is seeking feedback on the report by Feb. 26, 2021.