SEC approves NYSE merger

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cleared the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) merger with Archipelago next month, opening the way for its transformation into a for-profit company.

March 7 will see the NYSE merge with Archipelago, an electronic exchange, to form NYSE Group, a listed company. The exchange's regulatory functions will be split off to form a new non-profit-making company, NYSE Regulation, fully owned by the group.

In return for its approval, the SEC told the exchange to ensure that most of the NYSE Regulation directors were independent, rather than also being NYSE Group directors; it also imposed various other measures to ensure the regulators' independence from the market.

The US Justice Department, NYSE members and Archipelago shareholders all approved the deal last year. Exchange chief executive Jon Thain said the merger and transition were essential for the exchange to compete globally and offer more products.

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