Options Linkage

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All registered U.S. options markets are linked together on a real-time basis through a network capable of transporting orders and messages to and from each market.

The charter of the linkage, according to The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), is to further increase market efficiency, enhance competition, facilitate the offsetting of investor orders, and contribute to best execution of those orders. Linkage is governed by the Options Linkage Authority (OLA) under the conditions set forth by "the Plan" approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

OLA consists of:

These participants developed the plan pursuant to an order issued by the SEC on Oct. 19, 1999, directing them to develop an option intermarket linkage plan.[1]

The new routing setup, set to begin in summer of 2009, incorporates Regulation NMS-type rules and aims to improve execution quality for large lot orders. It is also expected to reduce costs for market makers and introduce various efficiencies to options trading.[2]


  1. Options Linkage Plan. The Options Clearing Corporation.
  2. Options Exchanges Target Summer for New Linkage Plan. Traders Magazine.