This excerpt taken from the NDAQ 10-K filed Feb 27, 2009.
We have self-regulatory obligations and also operate for-profit businesses, and these two roles may create conflicts of interest.
We have obligations to regulate and monitor activities on our markets and ensure compliance with applicable law and the rules of our markets by market participants and listed companies. In the U.S., the SEC staff has expressed concern about potential conflicts of interest of for-profit markets performing the regulatory functions of a self-regulatory organization. Although The NASDAQ Stock Market and, once fully implemented in March 2009, the markets operated or regulated by NASDAQ OMX BX, outsource the majority of their market regulation functions to FINRA, we do perform regulatory functions related to our listed companies and our markets. Any failure by us to diligently and fairly regulate our markets or to otherwise fulfill our regulatory obligations could significantly harm our reputation, prompt SEC scrutiny and adversely affect our business and reputation.
The exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic also monitor trading on those exchanges and compliance with listing standards. They monitor the listing of equities and other financial instruments. The prime objective of such monitoring activities is to maintain confidence in the exchanges among the general public. The monitoring functions within the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic are the responsibility of the surveillance departments or other surveillance personnel. The surveillance departments or personnel are intended to strengthen the integrity of and confidence in the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic and to avoid conflicts of interest. Any failure to diligently and fairly regulate the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic could significantly harm our reputation, prompt scrutiny from regulators and adversely affect our business and reputation.