Business Wire, responding to a Feb. 7 Wall Street Journal report about high-frequency traders exploiting its news feed, said it will stop licensing direct feeds to those trading firms.
CEO and chair Cathy Baron Tamraz said the company consulted with Warren Buffett, chairman of BW parent Berkshire Hathaway and a high-speed trading critic, to make the decision. She stressed that the company did not give a time advantage to the high-speed traders. "However, 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," she said, stressing BW's concern about its reputation.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been campaigning against high-frequency trading, hailed BW's move. "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 and a demonstration of Business Wire's commitment to being a responsible industry leader," he said Feb. 20.
The Journal report focused on BW and Marketwired in highlighting how high-speed traders take advantage of newswire data to get a leg up on "less fleet-footed investors."
BW initially responded to the WSJ piece by defending its policies and stressed that traders were "gaming the system."
Nanex, the company whose research preceded the WSJ piece, said a problem still exists at the close of trading. “Just because Business Wire has stopped this practice, doesn’t solve the problem," founder Eric Hunsader told the Financial Times today, noting trades "bleed over" for nearly a second after the market closes. "The best solution is to require earnings to not be released until one minute after 4pm.”