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article imageBusiness Wire halts high-speed wire for fast traders

By AFP     Feb 20, 2014 in Business

Business Wire, a service used for corporate news releases, said Thursday it would stop selling its high-speed wire to Wall Street traders seeking to get a jump on the market.

The service, part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway holding company, said it made the decision after a Wall Street Journal report highlighted concerns.

"Following the February 7, 2014, Wall Street Journal article, and in consultation with Berkshire Hathaway's chairman, Warren Buffett, Business Wire has made the decision to no longer allow high-frequency trading firms to license direct feeds from Business Wire," the company said in a statement.

The statement said "there was nothing wrong in Business Wire serving these handful of HFTs directly" but that "in discussions that have taken place with a few of our clients, we learned that the article may have caused some misperceptions, and that was of deep concern to us."

"Our most important assets are our reputation and the trust we have earned from our clients and other market participants for more than a half century. Therefore, we have pro-actively made the decision to terminate these feeds," the statement said.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has expressed concern about technologically sophisticated traders getting an early edge on others, welcomed the decision. "Business Wire's decision to voluntarily step forward and stop selling its clients' information directly to high-speed traders is a tremendous victory for our effort to eliminate advance trading on market-moving information," the official said.

"High-frequency traders who drain the value out of market-moving information in the milliseconds before it becomes available to other investors erode confidence in our markets and skim from the rest of the investing public, which hurts the entire market."

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