What are the exact components of options commissions? In other asset classes like stocks, I can clearly see the evolution of regulatory changes that allowed businesses to compete on the price of commissions, and the floor in pricing for stock trades is very very low, which can be seen by the clearing firm's costs and what the exchanges charge per share, coupled with fees to the regulator.
With options, there seems to be a floor across the industry at around $.30 per contract. Where brokers charge different premiums that allow them to on average make a profit from options trades. I am unclear on what circumstances perpetuate these base costs.
My observation is that the underlying asset in options can be acquired cheaply, with the most expensive underlying being 100 shares of stock. (Compared to futures options, and cash settled options, as examples)
Is there some other "origination fee"? Some regulatory fee between SROs, the Options Clearing Corporation and governmental regulators? Expensive older technology keeping the costs high? A monopoly somewhere? All of the above?
I've never seen this question asked before and I think it will give a lot of insight into the market when researched and answered
(The most similar question has OP believing that $1.50 a contract is too good to be true, so it is very unrelated)