Exchange Mergers Could Impact Listings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If Nasdaq OMX Group ( NDAQ) and Intercontinental Exchange ( ICE) do get regulatory approval for their $11.3 billion bid for the NYSE Euronext ( NYX) it will mean the combined market will have a near monopoly on equity listings in the United States pushing smaller markets to into other products to compete, according to some industry professionals.

"Customers that enter the markets will have less options. They have pushed against that in the past," said Chris Isaacson, senior vice president and COO of BATS Global Markets.

Smaller trading venues, such as BATS Global Markets, are viewing a possible NYSE/Nasdaq merger as an opportunity to grow, Isaacson says, adding that BATS plans to list ETFs in the near future.

"There is a gap in the listings market and we will have the structure in place to list ETFs by the end of the year," said Isaacson. "With all the talk of Nasdaq and the NYSE we think that now is the time."

The downside of exchange consolidation is that smaller players, which we gaining market share against the NYSE, will find it much more difficult to grow, says David Weild, head of capital markets advisory at Grant Thornton and a former Nasdaq vice-chairman.

"There is not a lot of organic growth in the industry," Weild. "They take their focus off of small companies that need to go public and they start killing jobs. These markets are supposed to be supporting economy. We are losing advocates for capital innovation and jobs with these mergers."

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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