This excerpt taken from the NDAQ 8-K filed Feb 20, 2008.
Note CRegulatory directives
Pursuant to investigations conducted by the SEC regarding, among other things, listing and competition-related behavior, and by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding antitrust, the agencies in the year 2000 entered into settlements with the Exchange and certain other options exchanges.
On September 11, 2000, the SEC issued an Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings (the 2000 Order), which accepted the settlement offers of the Exchange and certain other options exchanges, censured them, and, among other things, required them to adopt or modify certain rules regarding listing, allocation, harassment or intimidation, order handling, and certain other competition-related behavior. The 2000 Order also required the Exchange, jointly with other defendant exchanges, to establish a consolidated audit trail system, reform the plan by which capacity is procured and allocated and reform the plan by which exchanges list options. The 2000 Order also required the Exchange and other exchanges to enhance their surveillance, investigation, and enforcement processes.
On September 11, 2000, a U.S. district court entered a Proposed Final Judgment (Judgment), which instituted an antitrust proceeding brought by the DOJ and likewise accepted the settlement offers of the Exchange and certain other options exchanges. The Judgment, which was finalized by the court on December 6, 2000, among other things, established periodic reporting requirements, required the Exchange and the other exchanges to designate an Antitrust Compliance Officer and initiate an Antitrust Compliance Program, and prohibited certain agreements between and among the exchanges. The Judgment expires 10 years from the date of its entry.