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June 20, 2005

Just Too Many Quotes

By Mark Longo

The free lunch may be over in the options markets. With the number of quotes disseminated by the options industry growing every day, many exchanges, market makers and vendors are saying enough's enough. The bandwidth required to disseminate all of these quotes is driving up technology costs across the board. As a result, quote mitigation was a popular topic at the 23rd annual Options Industry Conference in Bonita Springs, Fla. Among the methods discussed to limit quote traffic were charging liquidity providers to disseminate quotes, implementing an RFQ (request-for-quote) system for deep in-the-money options and even charging customers for options quotes. However, with penny pricing for options looming on the horizon, even these drastic measures may not be enough to stem the flood of quotes that is swamping the options market.