US equities trading venue Direct Edge has filed two Form 1 applications with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to gain exchange status for its two trading platforms, EDGX and EDGA.
Following the approval process, Direct Edge expects the two platforms, which currently operate as electronic communications networks (ECNs), to begin user acceptance testing in Q3, with a full launch expected some time in Q4.
The transition to exchange status will occur simultaneously with the launch of Direct Edge’s new technology platform in the Equinix NY4 data centre in Secaucus, New Jersey.
“The filing of our exchange applications is an important milestone for Direct Edge,” said William O’Brien, chief executive officer of Direct Edge, in a statement. “As the third-largest stock market operator in the US – and the world – we look forward to continuing the application process in order to join the ranks of registered exchanges.”
In April, Direct Edge’s matched market share of US equities trading was 12.54%, making it the third-largest equities trading venue in the US after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. BATS Exchange, Direct Edge’s closest rival, had a matched market share of 10.01% in April.
BATS completed its transition to a full exchange from ECN status in November last year.