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Exchanges challenge SEC fee ruling in court

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton

NYSE Arca and Nasdaq Stock Market are challenging in court the Securities and Exchange Commission's ruling that some of their market data fee increases are not approved without further justification.

On Oct. 23, the two petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the SEC's Oct. 16 decision upholding a 2013 challenge brought by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association over rates charged by the exchanges for depth-of-book data. The SEC's decision also put on hold an estimated 400 similar price-increase requests.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stressed the ruling does not mean the fees were too high, but rather the exchanges did not provide sufficient factual and legal support to continue to charge them. Mr. Clayton also noted that the type of fees at issue have been the subject of various commission and court proceedings over the past decade, and the call for more justification is "in the best interests of our markets and our Main Street investors."