The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a probe into the ties between stock exchanges and certain electronic trading firms, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

BATS Global Markets Inc, a U.S. exchange operator that is planning an initial public offering, said in a government filing cited by the Journal that it got a request from the U.S. regulator's enforcement division for information on the use of order types and its communications with certain market participants.

The SEC also asked BATS for details about its information technology systems and trading strategies, the filing said.

The inquiry also was examining communications BATS has with certain members affiliated with certain stockholders and directors, the paper reported.

(Reporting By Debra Sherman in Chicago; Editing by Eric Beech)