Just as a wave of mergers and acquisitions among the world's major bourses has raised regulatory concerns, a feisty challenger, BATS Global Markets, has announced plans to enter the stock listings business by year's end.
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As an Electronic Communication Network (ECN), BATS currently can conduct trades of stocks listed on other exchanges but has no stock listings of its own. As another primary U.S. market, BATS would compete directly with NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) for listings of publicly traded U.S. companies.
Its timing couldn't be better. A merger proposed in February between the Deustche Börse AG and the NYSE Euronext would create an exchange nearly four times bigger than any rival. News of that deal drove Nasdaq to consider a counter-bid for NYSE Euronext, which if successful would leave just one U.S. listing market.