January 22, 2007
Nancy M Morris, Secretary,
As a former SEC Chief Economist and former NASD/NASDAQ Chief Economist, I have submitted numerous comments to the commission and many letters to the Chairmen of the Commission opposing the approval of NMS plans that permit the imposition of access fees upon online investors: investors who are accessing the NBBO quotation and last sale information for purposes of monitoring their own account.
Please incorporate in the record the attached letters to the individual Chairmen that may not be a part of the formal records on this issue.
While many online brokers pay the nonprofessional online access fee for clients, some may not and in all cases the online investor must sign a subscriber agreement acknowledging exchange ownership of the proprietary rights to the information. That ownership is at least questionable.
The non-professional access fees and the associated administrative paraphenalia have imposed,and continue to impose, an unnecessary and discriminatory burden upon online investors and their brokers (affecting the latters'costs of service and competitiveness).
The selective and discriminatory Nonprofessional access fees should have been removed a decade ago.
They should be removed now.
Also,in 2006, The Commission erred in permitting Nasdaq to take over INET without protecting investors from the loss of free access to the limit order book of quotations placed in INET. Those real-time quotations were available through Yahoo. This error permitted an incredibly anti-competitive result that has damaged all yahoo clients, including me.
It should be reversed.
Thank you for your consideration of this comment.
Gene L. Finn Ph.D.
Letter from Gene L. Finn, Ph.D. to Chairman Christopher Cox dated January 23, 2006