The European Commission Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) will require trading platforms to make pre- and post-trade market data available on a ‘reasonable commercial basis’. The Commission has invited ESMA (European Securities & Markets Authority) to provide technical advice on what constitutes a ‘reasonable commercial basis’. 

Some fund management and brokerage firms have argued that current prices for market data services are high and should be regulated. Will ESMA be ‘tempted’ to become a price regulator in financial services? This note provides an economics perspective on proposals considered in ESMA’s consultation paper.