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The Wall Street Journal: Court deals blow to SEC’s bid to overhaul market-data feeds from Nasdaq, NYSE

A federal court partly rejected a Securities and Exchange Commission plan to loosen the control that stock exchanges have over public market-data feeds, handing a victory to Nasdaq Inc.
NDAQ,
+1.22%

 and Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s
ICE,
+0.83%

New York Stock Exchange.

In a ruling released Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the SEC had exceeded its authority under federal law when it issued a 2020 order overhauling the governance of the data feeds.

The ruling vacated a key provision of the order, in a blow to the agency’s efforts to rein in the fees that exchanges charge for market data. Brokers and trading firms have long complained they pay too much for such data, and they say exchanges exert monopolistic powers to keep prices high. Exchanges reject such arguments and have fought back in court at the SEC’s attempts to shake up the data business.

An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment.

The data feeds at the heart of Tuesday’s ruling — called securities information processors, or SIPs — broadcast real-time stock prices to investors. They are big business for stock exchanges, which collectively make hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the fees that brokers pay to access the feeds.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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