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NASDAQ adds OMX

Bob Moon May 25, 2007
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TEXT OF INTERVIEWBOB MOON: Wall Street is going more global this morning. The NASDAQ Stock Market has agreed to buy a big Swedish stock exchange operator for $3.7 billion. I spoke to economist Andrew Hilton from London this morning. He says this is another important development for global stock trading.

ANDREW HILTON: It’s significant because these are two major players. You don’t know who OMX is, but OMX is a major player in the technology space and it runs some of the more advanced exchanges in Northern Europe.

MOON: How much closer does this move the NASDAQ to the NYSE?

HILTON: It certainly is going to improve the bargaining position of NASDAQ if it comes back next year and makes another bid for the LSE which I guess most people expect it will.

MOON: And why does the NASDAQ seem so interested in the London Stock Exchange in particular?

HILTON: I think because a lot of business is being driven to London by Sarbanes-Oxley. A lot of companies that would otherwise have chosen to list in the U.S. have chosen to list in Europe and specifically in London.

MOON: Are we going to see more consolidation like this around the world?

HILTON: Probably. I think that the difficulty with exchanges is that they are quite pricey. And yet at the same time the technology isn’t all that expensive any more. You kind of feel that there is an Indian software engineer with an exchange in a box that’ll cost you $50,000 and that will do anything that most exchanges do. But nonetheless I think they’re vulnerable and people want to get into the exchange space because it’s very heavily regulated and you can make some decent money there.

MOON: Practically speaking, what does this mean to the average trader?

HILTON: It probably means that fees are gonna come down, at least in the short run.

MOON: Economist Andrew Hilton with the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation in London, thank you for joining us.

HILTON: My pleasure.

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