Toronto-based Aequitas NEO Exchange Inc. has submitted a formal request to the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) on Tuesday, asking regulators to require that investors and their financial advisors receive access to top-of-book, real-time consolidated market data.
“Consolidated market data is important for investors to see the complete picture of trading activity and enables them to make fully informed investment decisions,” Aequitas’ request says.
The firm argues that lack of access to complete market data means that retail investors are trading on inferior information and that the trading activity in Toronto Stock Exchange-listed companies is understated if the trading that takes place on other markets isn’t visible to investors.
The federal Competition Bureau closed its investigation into Aequitas’ allegations of anticompetitive conduct by TMX Group Ltd. last year, which alleged that contracts between TMX and investment dealers prevent the dealers from sharing private market data with third parties.
In closing the investigation, the Competition Bureau said that its “investigation confirmed that TMX Group has refused requests by investment dealers to share private market data. However, in considering the effect of this conduct on competition, the Bureau concluded that the conduct would be unlikely to violate the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act.”
In the wake of that decision, Aequitas has called on regulators to mandate access to consolidated market data. Now, it’s ramping up that effort. In addition to writing the regulators, the firm is also inviting investors, advisors, and others, to visit a website (www.marketdataforall.com) dedicated to its campaign.
“We are calling on the securities regulators to step in and ensure that all investors are provided with an opportunity to make fully informed investment decisions,” says Jos Schmitt, president and CEO of NEO Exchange, in a statement. “The current situation has negative implications for Canadian investors, Canadian public companies and Canadian manufacturers of listed investment products.”
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