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September 30, 1998

The SEC's Single Statement

By Michael L. O'Reilly

Despite its responsibilities as a regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been decidedly closemouthed about the recent consolidation among stock exchanges.

According to an official in the public-affairs office of the SEC, the SEC's Division of Market Regulation is very hesitant to prejudge the current consolidation, and strongly refuses to comment on the matter.

The SEC released only this statement dated March 13 from Richard Lindsey, director of the SEC's Division of Market Regulation, after the announced merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers with the American Stock Exchange:

"Recently, we were appraised by the NASD and the AMEX of their ongoing discussions. The SEC, however, does not approve or disapprove of mergers between markets, exchanges and firms. To the extent that rule changes and new governance rules result from a new relationship between the NASD and the AMEX, the [SEC] would seek public comment and review the proposed changes once those changes are presented to the [SEC]. We are typically supportive of efforts by the exchanges and markets that promote competition and educate and protect investors."