Specifying the property rights and obligations associated with price and quote data is difficult. Many bodies of law and regulation are relevant, many conflicts, and most are currently being reformed. Six important bodies of law are examined governing, respectively, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, misappropriation, competition, a new sui generis property right in databases and the securities markets. Determining the optimal allocation of rights and obligations associated with price and quote data is currently impossible. There is great ignorance and uncertainty about the role of information in markets and fundamental disagreements on many other key issues. The commonly held view that exchanges should charge for price and quote information on a marginal-cost basis is argued as often being an inappropriate policy.
Keywords: Property Rights, Information, Financial Markets, Exchanges, Prices and Quotes, Regulation, Securities Markets