BATS Global Markets: Evolution and Impact


BATS Global Markets, previously known as Better Alternative Trading System (BATS), made a significant mark in the world of financial exchanges. Established in 2005, BATS swiftly rose to prominence in both the U.S. and European markets, offering a diverse range of financial instruments. In 2017, it was acquired by Cboe Options Exchange, marking a transformative moment in the financial industry. This article explores the history, growth, and impact of BATS Global Markets, its merger with Cboe, and its lasting influence on the world of finance.

Expanding the horizons: BATS global markets

BATS Global Markets made significant contributions to the world of financial exchanges. Let’s delve into some comprehensive examples to further illustrate its impact on the market.

Example 1: BATS in the European market

In 2008, BATS Global Markets embarked on a journey to expand its influence in the European market. This expansion marked a significant turning point in the company’s history. As a part of its strategy, the company rebranded itself as BATS Global Markets, shedding its former name, Better Alternative Trading System (BATS).

The move into the European market introduced BATS to a different set of challenges and opportunities. It sought to compete with established European exchanges and swiftly became recognized as a major player in the region.

Example 2: The merger mania

BATS Global Markets was not only known for its rapid growth but also for its penchant for mergers and acquisitions. Let’s explore some key instances:

The Chi-X Europe acquisition

In 2011, BATS Global Markets acquired Chi-X Europe, a significant milestone. This acquisition propelled BATS to become the largest stock exchange in Europe, adding to its reputation as a formidable force in the global financial landscape.

The Direct edge merger

In 2014, BATS engaged in a merger with Direct Edge, bringing the EDGA and EDGX exchanges under its wing. This consolidation was a strategic move to diversify its offerings and expand its reach within the U.S. market.

The Hotspot acquisition

Further emphasizing its ambition, in 2015, BATS acquired Hotspot, an electronic communication network (ECN). This acquisition allowed institutional investors to access spot trading, swap execution, and forward trading services. It was a testament to BATS Global Markets’ commitment to offering a broad spectrum of financial solutions.

Example 3: CBOE’s game-changing acquisition

In 2017, the story of BATS took a significant turn when Cboe, the owner of Cboe Options Exchange and Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE), made an offer to acquire BATS Global Markets. This acquisition marked a watershed moment in the financial industry. BATS was no longer an independent entity, but its legacy lived on within the Cboe family.

The acquisition allowed Cboe to expand into the European market, broadening its offerings to include foreign exchange and ETFs. Cboe’s already extensive portfolio was enriched, and it now operates multiple markets across the globe, creating a more interconnected financial ecosystem.

Understanding the significance

BATS Global Markets may have faced its fair share of challenges, but its journey from an innovative alternative trading platform to a dominant player in the financial world has left an indelible mark. While the original article provided a comprehensive overview, these examples shed more light on the specific milestones and strategies that defined BATS Global Markets’ growth and impact on the industry.


In the world of financial exchanges, BATS Global Markets, originally known as Better Alternative Trading System, carved out a unique path. Its journey from an innovative alternative trading platform to a major player in the U.S. and European markets showcases its remarkable growth and influence. Although faced with technical challenges, the acquisition by Cboe in 2017 solidified its place in financial history. BATS Global Markets will always be remembered as a transformative force in the world of finance.

Frequently asked questions

What drove BATS global markets to expand into the European market?

BATS Global Markets made a significant move by expanding into the European market in 2008. What were the key drivers behind this expansion and rebranding?

How did BATS global markets compete with established exchanges?

BATS Global Markets positioned itself as a competitor to giants like the NYSE and Nasdaq. What strategies did it employ to compete effectively in the financial industry?

What were the key mergers and acquisitions in BATS’ growth story?

BATS Global Markets was known for its series of mergers and acquisitions. Can you provide details on the most significant ones and their impact on the company?

What challenges did BATS face, and how did it overcome them?

BATS encountered various technical challenges during its journey. What were some of the major obstacles, and how did the company address and overcome them?

What was the significance of CBOE’s acquisition of BATS global markets?

The acquisition of BATS by CBOE was a pivotal moment in the financial industry. What changes did this acquisition bring about, and how did it impact both companies?

Key Takeaways

  • BATS Global Markets, originally known as Better Alternative Trading System, emerged in 2005 as an innovative exchange.
  • It became a major competitor to traditional exchanges, ranking as the second-largest U.S. equity exchange by market share and the largest ETF exchange in 2016.
  • BATS undertook a series of mergers and acquisitions, including the acquisition of Chi-X Europe, Direct Edge, and Hotspot.
  • The company faced technical challenges, including a canceled IPO and trading errors, but ultimately joined forces with Cboe in 2017.
  • Cboe’s acquisition allowed it to expand into the European market and diversify its offerings, making it a dominant force in the financial industry.
View Article Sources
  1. Users Manual of BATS Exchange –
  2. National Securities Exchanges –
  3. Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, … – GovInfo