On December 9, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to adopt amendments to the content of consolidated market data for equities and the manner in which such data is distributed to market participants.1 As detailed further below, consolidated market data would now contain additional content including five levels of depth-of-book data and certain odd-lot quotations. Once the amendments are fully implemented, consolidated market data would be distributed by competing consolidators rather than the current exclusive securities information processors (SIPs).
The amended rules represent the most significant changes to equity market structure since the SEC’s adoption of Regulation NMS in 2005.2 However, the SEC may face additional hurdles to full implementation as some exchanges have indicated through their comment letters that they may seek judicial review of the amended rules.3 Several exchanges have already sought judicial review of the SEC’s order requiring operational and governance changes to the national market system plan (NMS Plan) that governs the distribution of consolidated market data.4
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