A spokesman for Thomson Reuters said the Securities and Exchange Commission contacted the company to inquire about the release, earlier this month, of monthly manufacturing data of the Institute of Supply Management.
The New York Times reported Friday that the SEC investigation is part of a broad inquiry into high-speed trading that has altered how trades are conducted on Wall Street.
The company spokesman explained that the SEC was informed the early release of information, which was used to conduct trades, was part of a "clock synchronization issue," the Times said.
But regulators are concerned about a different facet of high-speed trading, which is that information distribution is being conducted based on monetary arrangements. Some traders who can afford to do so are paying more to have information available to them ahead of others.
Regulators are concerned that practice is leading to the establishment of inequality in the marketplace.
"As part of this conversation, the SEC requested a copy of the contract with [the] Institute of Supply .Management," said the company spokesman, Lemuel Brewster
The institute conducts a monthly manufacturing survey that is used to assess whether manufacturing activity is growing or shrinking.
"After obtaining ISM's consent, Thomson Reuters voluntarily provided a copy of the contract with the pricing details omitted" Brewster said.