Posted on January 28, 2010


KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The US Securities and Exchange Commission has approved BATS Exchange to operate a US equity options platform. BATS plans to go live on Friday, February 26th, after industry-wide options symbology consolidation and testing.

On February 12, 2010, US-listed options that are traded on any of the seven exchanges cleared by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) will adopt a new electronic standard to identify each derivative contract (See Global Investment Technology, November 30, 2009 (Subscribers only.)

“Similar to what we accomplished in the equity markets, we will strive to bring more transparency and efficiency to the options market by offering a competitive alternative with straightforward pricing and a platform built on BATS’ second-to-none technology,” says BATS Chief Executive Joe Ratterman. “With SEC approval granted for BATS Options, we are pleased to deliver on the schedule announced last summer with go live likely in a matter of weeks.”

According to Jeromee Johnson, BATS Vice President, Market Development, the BATS Options system was built with the Options Symbology Initiative in mind. BATS worked with the Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA)  to meet the deadline.

BATS Options will launch with options on 18 underlying securities, including cash equities and ETFs. Additional rollout details, including a list of specific symbols, technical specifications and membership agreements are available online at

In just four years, BATS Exchange has captured 10% market share in US equities. The exchange has filed rules with the SEC for a second US equities exchange (BYX) (announced on September 17, 2009), also slated for launch in early 2010. BATS Europe, which launched less than 15 months ago, recently surpassed pan-European trading volume of €2 billion for the first time and currently executes 8-10% of the FTSE 100.



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