Washington Examiner: SEC obstructs a valuable profit stream for NYSE, Nasdaq — and it may not be through

Alongside the fee ruling, the SEC launched a pilot program examining transaction fees. Exchanges charge investment firms to place large orders, but also provide rebates to incentivize purchases that add market liquidity.

The agency’s concern is that certain companies are opting to place orders on the exchanges that provide the highest rebate, and the SEC wants to test whether reducing fees would help curb that practice.

Opponents such as the American Securities Association, a group that represents regional brokers, believe the initiative will drive firms to file with private exchanges known as dark pools.

“That will have a negative impact on non-Wall Street broker-dealers because we don’t run dark pools,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Iacovella said in a recent interview.

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