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August 31, 2001

Hold the Market Data Regs, SIA Says

By Gregory Bresiger

More laws and regulations are not needed to protect the integrity of market data information, according to Securities Industry Association President Mark Lackritz. Testifying recently before a Congressional subcommittee, Lackritz argued that market information is now transparent.

That development, he added, "has facilitated the growth of an entire industry of market data vendors that add analytic information and news services to basic market information and sell it to market participants and others."

Individual investors, he argued, now have access to information that was previously only available to financial professionals.

Lackritz told a Congressional subcommittee that "granting new property rights in database protection legislation, no matter how well intentioned, will vest control of market information into the hands of a single source monopolies in the securities industry."

The Securities and Exchange Commission is studying the issue and is expecting a report from its market data advisory panel sometime this month. The securities industry - especially trading firms - has much at stake on this issue. It is estimated that both Nasdaq and the Big Board garner some $100 million in yearly market data revenue. But both organizations have contended that these funds are needed to offset the costs of self-regulation and the costs of market data collection.