Citadel, Others Sue Options Exchanges Over Fees

May 23 2013 | 12:32pm ET

Citadel Investment Group's investment-banking arm and three other firms have sued a quintet of major U.S. options exchanges, alleging that they were overcharged.

The lawsuit, filed in Chicago state court yesterday, alleges that the Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NYSE Arca, NYSE Amex and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges all systematically overcharged or wrongly assessed fees on options trades for seven years. Citadel Securities and its co-plaintiffs say they were overcharged on millions of orders over a seven-year period.

Among the issues are how the exchanges assess market-maker-to-market-maker orders with payment for order flow fees, the firms allege, and the exchanges' refusal to do anything about it. One of the firms paid nearly $6.4 million on mis-marked orders over the period, according to the lawsuit.

"The dispute arises from the exchanges' assertion that they are entitled to mischarge their members without taking any responsibility for it and without any liability under the law," the suit alleges. The firms are seeking "recovery or restitution of all PFOF fees that were inappropriately charged by the exchanges."

Citadel is joined in the lawsuit by Group One Trading, Ronin Capital and Susquehanna Investment Group.

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