This excerpt taken from the NDAQ 8-K filed Feb 20, 2008.
The implementation of MiFID may increase competition for quoting, trade execution and reporting revenues in Europe.
The combined companys competitive position could be adversely affected by legislation and regulation implementing MiFID, which required all European Union countries to have MiFID regulation in force by November 1, 2007. MiFID is intended to create a unified European financial services market, with common regulation regarding investments and trading in European Union
countries. MiFID is intended to enable greater transparency and competition among exchanges (regulated markets), investment firms and banks who internalize their order flow (systematic internalizers), and multilateral trading facilities. MiFID encourages competition for quotation, trade execution, trade reporting and market data distribution and introduces a European-wide requirement for best execution by requiring investment firms to establish and publish execution policies for all traded instruments.
MiFID provides that trades may be executed on recognized exchanges, on multilateral trading facilities via over-the-counter trading or through systematic internalization. As a result, MiFID creates an opportunity for exchanges for new multilateral trading facilities, over-the-counter and internalization arrangements to be developed on either a single country or a pan-European basis, thereby removing entry barriers and facilitating entry of alternative off-exchange trading facilities and increasing the attractiveness of such alternative facilities to users. In addition, investment firms will have to ensure that they obtain the best execution conditions for their clients, and will therefore have to direct orders to the most favorable execution venue, without any regulatory incentive to favor established regulated markets.
Taken together, these changes to the regulatory environment are likely to make it easier for multilateral trading facilities to establish themselves in Europe as low-cost alternatives to regulated exchanges, thereby increasing the level of competition with and between market operators. OMX will face competition from other exchanges as well as from multilateral trading facilities and alternative trading systems (including a move toward greater systematic internalization by member firms outside OMXs exchanges) and this competition may intensify in the near future especially as technological advances create pressure to reduce the costs of trading. Increased competition from alternative trading facilities and operators could cause the combined company to lose market share or to lower its fees in order to remain competitive, either of which could lead to lower revenues and/or lower margins, harming profitability.