The Order MachineEffective today, TOM will give free access to their real-time derivatives market data to clients of Interactive Brokers and the Dutch brokers working with IB’s platform (Lynx, Todays, Traders Only). Other brokers already offered the data for free. According to the press release, investors can save as much as €37 per month. Nice – but it’s not entirely true.

Some newspapers are happy broadcasting press releases, no questions asked (nl). In reality, nobody ever paid for TOM’s market data. It came for free with Euronext’s data.

Regular investors may save €2

Regular investors will pay €2 a month for Euronext data bundle at IB. You’ll be able to see the order book for stocks and the best bid/offer for derivatives. Only if you’re interested in the depth of the order book for derivatives, you will have to shell out €37 euro a month.

Most investors who are happy with best bid/offer prices won’t save a penny – although theoretically you can use free Chi-X stock market data and ditch Euronext.

Previously TOM market data was bundled together with Euronext Data Bundle, for free. Now it’s possible to switch off Euronext and work with free TOM market data. We’re not talking about a lot of money – but the small move could tip the balance in favor of TOM. Investors from abroad (without the Euronext bundle) can easily do a few trades on TOM without having to sign up for additional market data.

Fees unchanged

The fees for option trading at the exchange did come down a lot. Most of this has never been passed on to investors, unfortunately. Brokers like Binck and Alex are determined to keep the extra margin in their pockets. To attract real flow from Interactive Brokers, TOM should convince IB them to pass through the lower fees. Really, for a few cents reduced fee the whole pack will switch.