Is this called front-running?

"Firms such as Robinhood sell their customers’ trades to market makers such as Citadel Securities that execute the buy and sell orders. Market makers generate profits by pocketing the difference between the price at which they buy shares on the open market and the price they receive from selling them to Robinhood clients.

That means there is an incentive for market makers to inflate the price they quote to Robinhood’s customers. And given Citadel’s commanding market share, some regulators are concerned that investors may not be getting the best deal, since online brokerages themselves have an incentive to keep rosy relations with the companies that buy their trading volume."

That’s not how PFOF works though, it’s a misconception. Probably happens, but once discovered, such a behaviour gets punished (which indeed happened with Citadel in the past and they got fined). Still, might be time to get rid of PFOF, even Citadel was pushing for that some 15 years ago: https://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s70704/citadel04132004.pdf

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