The Security Traders Association (“STA”)1 appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) proposed amendments to the regulatory requirements in Regulation ATS under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) applicable to alternative trading systems (“ATSs”) that transact in National Market System (“NMS”) stocks (hereinafter referred to as “NMS Stock ATSs”), including so called “dark pools”). The Proposal, among other things, creates a new Form ATS-N, which operators of NMS Stock ATSs will be required to file with the Commission and receive an effective approval prior to operating. In addition, proposed Rule 304(a)(2) creates a new reporting regime for filing amendments to Form ATS-N. Both the proposed Form ATS-N and Rule 304(a)(2) would require significantly more detail about the operations of NMS Stock ATSs than is currently required on Form ATS and its amendment reporting regime.
The STA’s comments on issues related to market structure come from our roles as practitioners in the markets. STA membership does not represent any specific business model, but rather encompasses a broad range of industry participants. It is from this broad based membership, including from ATS operators and non-operators who are either subscribers or non-subscribers, which the STA seeks to provide perspectives on the Proposal.