Alternative Trading Systems

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An alternative trading system (ATS), also called an alternative trading platform, is an electronic system that can bring together potential buyers and sellers of securities, sometimes doing away with the traditional broker's role in trading. ATSs include matching systems, crossing networks, and Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs). An ECN is an ATS that has registered with the SEC as either a broker or an exchange.[1][2]


  1. ECN and ATS, The Electronic Future. Securities Operations Forum.
  2. ECNs/Alternative Trading Systems. SEC.