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From our daily One Page Annotated WSJ summary:

Merger Trend Sweeping Big Exchanges Cascades Toward 'Interdealer Brokers'

Summary: As the NYSE (NYSE:NYX) and Euronext NV are looking to tie the knot, and the Nasdaq is looking to buy the rest of the the London Stock Exchange, watch for the mergers and acquisitions trend to trickle down to the boutique "interdealer brokers." These are small exchange-like brokers that trade mainly in bonds, currencies and derivatives that are very attractive to hedge funds. The main players among these include Icap PLC [IAPLY.PK] and eSpeed Inc. (ESPD) and Tullett Prebon, a division of Collins Stewart Tullett, the British financial-services company. Icap has held talks with the London Stock Exchange, while eSpeed has met with CBOT Holdings Inc. (BOT), owner of the Chicago Board of Trade. None of these meetings have yet to bear any tangible fruits, but Michael Spencer, Icap's CEO said that, "This dialogue ... is a real harbinger of the sort of changes we may see in the landscape in the next few years. It is an inevitability you will see global exchange groups emerge.
Related links: "Full WSJ articleWhy I'm Long-term Bullish on the ExchangesTokyo Stock Exchange Favors Euronext-NYSE DealTime for an ICE Hedge?Combined ICE-NYBOT Looks Attractive
More commentary: Other publicly-traded exchanges: Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (NASDAQ:CME), IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE)

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Source: Mating Season for the Big Exchanges