Last up is IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE), a firm that's been making some big moves after it announced plans to acquire NYSE Euronext ( NYX), the parent of the New York Stock Exchange. Until now, ICE's business has been a lot more niche-focused: in total, it operates one of the largest exchanges for over the counter derivatives, or as I like to call them "less commoditized commodities". That nuanced core business gives ICE some attractive opportunities -- it doesn't compete quite as vigorously for trading flow on its platform, and it collects bigger profits as a result.
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