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EU to restrict US 'dark pool' trading venue access

The European Commission will allow fewer U.S. "dark pools," or alternative trading venues, to access the bloc's markets when MiFID II market rules become effective in 2018, Reuters reported Dec. 8, citing documents.

The commission cut the number of U.S. dark pools that will gain equivalence status to 33, after some EU member states objected to the EU recognizing more than 80. Equivalence status means rules of foreign countries are recognized as serving the same purpose as home regulations; dark pools are often criticized because of their lack of transparency.

A bigger deal allowing EU investors to access major U.S. trading venues now appears to be just a formality, "several EU officials" told Reuters.