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October 19, 2006

Nasdaq Gets Platform Delay

By Gregory Bresiger

Nasdaq's merging of its three trading platforms into one, scheduled for September 18, has been delayed until October 18.

This is the second delay in as many months of the much anticipated melding of the SuperMontage, Brut and INET trading platforms. Nasdaq said it was changing the schedule "to allow for continued customer testing as well as downstream and regulatory enhancements," according to its Head Trader Alert.

Others in the trading industry had different takes. "This job is much bigger than Nasdaq thought. I'm not surprised by these delays at all," said an executive at a competing exchange. "It's very difficult to merge three different legacy systems with three different functionalities into one," he said.

Nasdaq officials weren't available for comment at presstime.

An attorney representing several ECNs fighting with Nasdaq took a poke at the stock exchange over its inability to complete the merger. His clients have asked the regulators to delay the merger of the platforms and the implementation of a new pricing scheme until they found a new trading venue.

"Nasdaq asked the SEC to speed up the pricing scheme and the merger. And two times they said they were ready to do it, and then two times they decided they couldn't do it. They're not going to have any credibility with the SEC," the attorney said.

As a result of the delay, Nasdaq's new crossing network, which had been slated to begin operations on September 25, will now open on November 6, Nasdaq reported.