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War of the Wall Street robots

Business Wire says it will stop selling direct access of its financial information to to high-speed traders

The brave new world of high-speed trading is run by algorithms and super fast computers that quickly take in information and just as quickly buy and sell stocks on that data, said Michael Henry is a consultant at Accenture

The people who are running the trading platforms are in a rush to get to the nanosecond level. Even milliseconds can make a difference... That’s the name of the game in high speed trading.”

The Berkshire Hathaway-owned wire service coming under scrutiny for the practice: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called it “insider trading 2.0.”

The perception was that high-speed traders had an unfair advantage by getting financial information even milli-seconds faster than the general public. Business Wire CEO has said that there was NO time advantage but it’s stopped direct access because of that misperception. 

Henry says the decision won’t have an impact on the market: I think this is a symbolic move." Henry says that’s because these days, high-speed traders can get that same information in a million different places.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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