• AMF committee recommends 5 million-euro penalty for Virtu
  • Madison Tyler was co-founded by Virtu Chairman Vincent Viola

France’s regulator has called for fines against high-speed trading firm Virtu Financial Inc. and stock-exchange operator Euronext NV for alleged market manipulation in 2009.

A representative of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers recommended on Wednesday that Virtu be fined at least 5 million euros ($5.4 million), according to a spokeswoman for the regulator. The AMF has been investigating the suspected manipulation of 27 shares listed on Euronext Paris between July 21 and Sept. 2, 2009. The representative also asked for a 4-million-euro fine to be imposed on Euronext for favoring Virtu.

The alleged infractions took place six years ago when Euronext was part of NYSE Euronext and Virtu had yet to acquire Madison Tyler Holdings LLC, the subsidiary being examined by the French authorities. The AMF has been investigating what happened since February 2011.

“We unequivocally deny these allegations and any misconduct of the company in the autumn of 2009 and will strongly defend our position,” said Jos Dijsselhof, Euronext’s interim chief executive officer, in a conference call on Thursday. Euronext became an independent company again when it was spun off from Intercontinental Exchange Inc. in June 2014.

The AMF’s enforcement committee will reveal whether it will impose the recommended fines within a month. Virtu and Euronext then have up to two months to appeal the decision.

Madison Tyler was co-founded by Vincent Viola in 2002. Viola also founded Virtu and is chairman of the company.

“The trading activity under review was conducted appropriately and in compliance with applicable law and regulation,” Virtu said last year in a regulatory filing before going public.

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