SEC approves NASDAQ's exchange registration application

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unanimously approved NASDAQ's application to operate as a national securities exchange.

NASDAQ will now be able to take the final steps needed to complete its separation from the NASD. With exchange status, NASDAQ will be licensed to operate a newly formed subsidiary, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, as its own Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO).

"This is not only a step forward for NASDAQ but a very positive milestone for capital market structure,' says Edward S Knight, executive vice president and general counsel for NASDAQ. 'NASDAQ's front line regulator, the NASD, will sit outside the exchange. This will allow us to complete our vision for NASDAQ as the premier market in the world served by the gold standard in regulators, the NASD. We are very pleased with this outcome and appreciate the work of Chairman Cox, Commissioners Atkins, Campos, Glassman and Nazareth and the Commission staff."

NASDAQ will continue to be subject to SEC oversight, but independence from the NASD means NASDAQ's exchange subsidiary will have its own rules regarding trading, listing, membership and regulation; and have its own members. NASDAQ does not plan to change its name as a result of exchange registration.

"NASDAQ's independence from the NASD also removes the possibility of a conflict of interest between the market and its regulatory arm,' says Bob Greifeld, president and chief executive officer of NASDAQ. 'In this and other ways it strengthens our regulatory structure and allows NASDAQ to compete and serve the investor more effectively. Receiving exchange status is part of a steady set of changes over the last few years that have established NASDAQ as the premier market in the world. In addition, NASDAQ will benefit from an enhanced ability to compete with other domestic and foreign exchanges that enjoy the benefits of being fully independent public company exchanges."

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