This excerpt taken from the NDAQ 8-K filed Feb 20, 2008.
Nasdaq is, and the combined company will be, subject to extensive U.S. regulation that may harm our ability to compete with less regulated entities.
Under current U.S. federal securities laws, changes in our rules and operations, including our pricing structure, must be reviewed, and in many cases explicitly approved by the SEC. The SEC may approve, disapprove or recommend changes to proposals that we submit. In addition, the
SEC may delay the initiation of the public comment process or the approval process. This delay in approving changes, or the altering of any proposed change, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. We must compete not only with ECNs that are not subject to the same SEC approval process but also with other exchanges that have lower regulation and surveillance costs than us. There is a risk that trading will shift to exchanges that charge lower fees because, among other reasons, they spend significantly less on regulation.
In addition, Nasdaqs registered broker-dealer subsidiaries, Nasdaq Execution Services, LLC (Nasdaq Execution Services) and NASDAQ Option Services, LLC are subject to regulation by the SEC, FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations. Any failure to comply with these broker-dealer regulations could have a material effect on the operation of our business, financial condition and operating results. These subsidiaries are subject to regulatory requirements intended to ensure their general financial soundness and liquidity, which require that they comply with certain minimum capital requirements. The SEC and FINRA impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, dictate the ratio of debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. Additionally, the Uniform Net Capital Rule and NYSE and FINRA rules impose certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC, the NYSE and FINRA for certain withdrawals of capital.
PHLXs equity and option markets are regulated by the SEC and the futures business is regulated by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the CFTC). Upon consummation of the PHLX acquisition, we will be subject to further regulation in these new lines of business and for the first time will be subject to regulation by the CFTC.