Direct Edge, an equities trading operator, has bagged US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval of exchange applications for its ECN trading systems EDGA and EDGX, as two registered national securities exchanges.

Direct Edge anticipates that its equities marketplace will commence exchange operations from May 2010.

The Direct Edge Exchange will launch on a new trading system designed to deliver optimal trading speed and efficiency to customers while helping to reduce technology costs for the company. The infrastructure will be housed in Equinix NY4 data center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

William O’Brien, CEO of Direct Edge, said: “Direct Edge is excited and honored to be America’s newest stock exchange. With this approval, Direct Edge embarks on a new phase in its mission to deliver innovative products, creative solutions and better executions to our customers.”

Larry Tabb, chief executive of research and consultancy firm TABB Group, said: “It helps their economics. It’s a way for them to make more revenue, which they might then use to lower the fees they charge,” reported Reuters.

Direct Edge is owned by a consortium that includes the International Securities Exchange, Knight Capital Group, Citadel Derivatives Group, The Goldman Sachs Group and JP Morgan.