Nasdaq, Inc.
NASDAQ OMX GROUP, INC. (Form: 10-K, Received: 02/24/2011 16:17:28)
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010

OR

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to

Commission file number: 000-32651

 

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   52-1165937

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

One Liberty Plaza, New York, New York   10006
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

+1 212 401 8700

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $.01 par value per share   The NASDAQ Stock Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes   x     No   ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes   ¨     No   x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes   x     No   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes   x     No   ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.     ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer   x     Accelerated filer   ¨
Non-accelerated filer   ¨  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)   Smaller reporting company   ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes   ¨     No   x

As of June 30, 2010, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $2.3 billion (this amount represents approximately 130.6 million shares of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.’s common stock based on the last reported sales price of $17.78 of the common stock on The NASDAQ Stock Market on such date).

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

Class

 

Outstanding at February 10, 2011

Common Stock, $.01 par value per share   176,186,830 shares

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Document

 

Parts Into Which Incorporated

Certain portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the 2011 Annual Meeting of Stockholders   Part III

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

          Page  

Part I.

     

Item 1.

  

Business

     2   

Item 1A.

  

Risk Factors

     23   

Item 1B.

  

Unresolved Staff Comments

     38   

Item 2.

  

Properties

     38   

Item 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

     39   

Item 4.

  

(Removed and Reserved)

     39   

Part II.

     

Item 5.

   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      40   

Item 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

     43   

Item 7.

  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     45   

Item 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

     91   

Item 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

     91   

Item 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

     92   

Item 9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

     92   

Item 9B.

  

Other Information

     94   

Part III.

     

Item 10.

  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

     94   

Item 11.

  

Executive Compensation

     94   

Item 12.

   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters     

94
  

Item 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

     96   

Item 14.

  

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

     96   

Part IV.

     

Item 15.

  

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

     96   

 

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About This Form 10-K

 

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is a holding company created by the business combination of The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. and OMX AB (publ) which was completed on February 27, 2008. Under the purchase method of accounting, Nasdaq was treated as the accounting and legal acquirer in this business combination. As such, Nasdaq is the predecessor reporting entity of NASDAQ OMX and the results of operations of OMX are only included in NASDAQ OMX’s consolidated results of operations beginning February 27, 2008.

 

Throughout this Form 10-K, unless otherwise specified:

 

   

“NASDAQ OMX,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

 

   

“The NASDAQ Stock Market” and “NASDAQ” refer to the registered national securities exchange operated by The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC.

 

   

“OMX AB” refers to OMX AB (publ), as that entity operated prior to the business combination with Nasdaq.

 

   

“Nasdaq” refers to The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., as that entity operated prior to the business combination with OMX AB.

 

   

“OMX” refers to OMX AB (publ) subsequent to the business combination with Nasdaq.

 

   

“NASDAQ OMX Nordic” refers to collectively, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen, NASDAQ OMX Helsinki and NASDAQ OMX Iceland.

 

   

“NASDAQ OMX Baltic” refers to collectively, NASDAQ OMX Tallinn, NASDAQ OMX Riga and NASDAQ OMX Vilnius.

 

   

“PHLX” refers to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. and its subsidiaries, as that entity operated prior to its acquisition by NASDAQ OMX.

 

   

“NASDAQ OMX PHLX” refers to NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (formerly NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc.) subsequent to its acquisition by NASDAQ OMX.

 

   

“SEK” or “Swedish Krona” refers to the lawful currency of Sweden.

 

   

“NOK” or “Norwegian Krone” refers to the lawful currency of Norway.

 

This Form 10-K includes market share and industry data that we obtained from industry publications and surveys, reports of governmental agencies and internal company surveys. Industry publications and surveys generally state that the information they contain has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we cannot assure you that this information is accurate or complete. We have not independently verified any of the data from third-party sources nor have we ascertained the underlying economic assumptions relied upon therein. Statements as to our market position are based on the most currently available market data. For market comparison purposes, The NASDAQ Stock Market data in this Form 10-K for initial public offerings, or IPOs, is based on data generated internally by us, which includes best efforts underwritings and closed-end funds; therefore, the data may not be comparable to other publicly-available IPO data. Data in this Form 10-K for secondary offerings for The NASDAQ Stock Market is based on data provided by Thomson Financial. Data in this Form 10-K for new listings of equity securities on The NASDAQ Stock Market is based on data generated internally by us, which includes best efforts underwritings and issuers that switched from other listing venues, closed-end funds and exchange traded funds, or ETFs. Data in this Form 10-K for IPOs and new listings of equities securities on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic also is based on data generated internally by us. IPOs, secondary offerings and new listings data is presented as of period end. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding industry data presented herein, our estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K.

 

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Forward-Looking Statements

 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, encourages companies to disclose forward-looking information so that investors can better understand a company’s future prospects and make informed investment decisions. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains these types of statements. Words such as “anticipates,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes” and words or terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future expectations as to industry and regulatory developments or business initiatives and strategies, future operating results or financial performance identify forward-looking statements. These include, among others, statements relating to:

 

   

our 2011 outlook;

 

   

the scope, nature or impact of acquisitions, dispositions, investments or other transactional activities;

 

   

the integration of acquired businesses, including accounting decisions relating thereto;

 

   

the effective dates for, and expected benefits of, ongoing initiatives;

 

   

the impact of pricing changes;

 

   

tax benefits;

 

   

the cost and availability of liquidity; and

 

   

the outcome of any litigation and/or government investigation to which we are a party and other contingencies.

 

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements include, among others, the following:

 

   

our operating results may be lower than expected;

 

   

loss of significant trading volume or listed companies;

 

   

economic, political and market conditions and fluctuations, including interest rate and foreign currency risk, inherent in U.S. and international operations;

 

   

government and industry regulation;

 

   

our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses, including the fact that such integration may be more difficult, time consuming or costly than expected, and our ability to realize synergies from business combinations and acquisitions;

 

   

covenants in our credit facilities, indentures and other agreements governing our indebtedness which may restrict the operation of our business; and

 

   

adverse changes that may occur in the securities markets generally.

 

Most of these factors are difficult to predict accurately and are generally beyond our control. You should consider the uncertainty and any risk related to forward-looking statements that we make. These risk factors are more fully described under the caption “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” in this Form 10-K. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. You should carefully read this entire Form 10-K, including “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and the consolidated financial statements and the related notes. Except as required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements or report the occurrence of unanticipated events. For any forward-looking statements contained in any document, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 .

 

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Part I

 

Item 1. Business

 

Overview

 

We are a leading global exchange group that delivers trading, clearing, exchange technology, securities listing, and public company services across six continents. Our global offerings are diverse and include trading and clearing across multiple asset classes, market data products, financial indexes, capital formation solutions, financial services and market technology products and services. Our technology powers markets across the globe, supporting cash equity trading, derivatives trading, clearing and settlement and many other functions.

 

In the U.S., we operate The NASDAQ Stock Market, a registered national securities exchange. The NASDAQ Stock Market is the largest single cash equities securities market in the U.S. in terms of listed companies and in the world in terms of share value traded. As of December 31, 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market was home to 2,778 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of approximately $4.6 trillion. In addition, in the U.S. we operate two additional cash equities trading markets, two options markets, a futures market and a derivatives clearinghouse. We also engage in riskless principal trading of over-the-counter, or OTC, power and gas contracts.

 

In Europe, we operate exchanges in Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), and Iceland as NASDAQ OMX Nordic, and exchanges in Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania) as NASDAQ OMX Baltic. Collectively, the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic offer trading in cash equities, bonds, structured products and ETFs, as well as trading and clearing of derivatives and clearing of resale and repurchase agreements. Our Nordic and Baltic operations also offer alternative marketplaces for smaller companies called NASDAQ OMX First North. As of December 31, 2010, the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic, together with NASDAQ OMX First North, were home to 780 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of approximately $1.1 trillion.

 

We also operate NASDAQ OMX Armenia. In addition, NASDAQ OMX Commodities operates the world’s largest power derivatives exchange, one of Europe’s largest carbon exchanges and N2EX, a marketplace for physical U.K. power contracts.

 

In some of the countries where we operate exchanges, we also provide clearing, settlement and depository services.

 

History and Structure

 

Nasdaq was founded in 1971 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA (then known as the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.). Beginning in 2000, FINRA restructured and broadened ownership in Nasdaq by selling shares to FINRA members, investment companies and issuers listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market.

 

In connection with this restructuring, Nasdaq applied to the SEC to register The NASDAQ Stock Market as a national securities exchange. Prior to operating as an exchange, The NASDAQ Stock Market operated under an SEC-approved plan that provided a delegation of legal authority from FINRA to The NASDAQ Stock Market to operate as a stock market. FINRA fully divested its ownership of Nasdaq in 2006, and The NASDAQ Stock Market became fully operational as an independent registered national securities exchange in 2007. In 2006, Nasdaq also reorganized its operations into a holding company structure. As a result, our exchange licenses and exchange and broker-dealer operations are held by our subsidiaries.

 

On February 27, 2008, Nasdaq and OMX AB combined their businesses pursuant to an agreement with Borse Dubai Limited, a Dubai company, or Borse Dubai, and Nasdaq was renamed The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Concurrently with the business combination with OMX AB, we also acquired a 33  1 / 3 % equity stake in

 

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NASDAQ Dubai Limited, or NASDAQ Dubai. In December 2009, we agreed to participate in the realignment of the ownership structure of NASDAQ Dubai. In May 2010, as part of this realignment, NASDAQ Dubai became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Financial Market PJSC, or DFM, a publicly traded company controlled by Borse Dubai. NASDAQ OMX received a 1% equity interest in DFM in exchange for the equity interest in NASDAQ Dubai.

 

In July 2008, we completed our acquisition of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc., or PHLX, expanding our presence in the derivatives market. PHLX, renamed NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, operates as a distinct market alongside The NASDAQ Options Market, our options platform that was launched in March 2008. In August 2008, we acquired the Boston Stock Exchange, Incorporated, or BSX. We used the BSX license to create a second U.S. cash equities market, called NASDAQ OMX BX, which was launched in January 2009. In October 2008, we acquired Nord Pool ASA’s, or Nord Pool’s, clearing, international derivatives and consulting subsidiaries. As a result of the acquisition, we launched NASDAQ OMX Commodities, which offers energy and carbon derivatives products.

 

In December 2008, we acquired a majority interest in the International Derivatives Clearing Group, or IDCG, and IDCG became an independently operated subsidiary of NASDAQ OMX. IDCG provides central counterparty, or CCP, clearing for interest rate swap products through its clearinghouse subsidiary, International Derivatives Clearinghouse, LLC, or IDCH. In January 2009, we acquired a 22% stake in European Multilateral Clearing Facility N.V., or EMCF, a leading European clearinghouse. In addition, we signed an agreement with EMCF to use its CCP services for all Nordic cash equity transactions.

 

In March 2010, with the purchase of the assets of North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp., NASDAQ OMX expanded its presence in the OTC energy commodity markets. The acquisition of these assets was effected through our newly-established subsidiary NASDAQ OMX Commodities Clearing Company, or NOCC. In May 2010, we acquired Nord Pool ASA, a derivatives trading market. In August 2010, we completed our acquisition of SMARTS Group Holdings Pty Ltd, or SMARTS, a leading technology provider of surveillance solutions to exchanges, regulators and brokers. This acquisition is part of our strategy to diversify the Market Technology business and enter the surveillance and compliance market. We believe that this acquisition will strengthen our position as the leading technology partner to marketplaces worldwide.

 

In December 2010, we completed our acquisitions of FTEN, Inc., or FTEN, a leading provider of Real-Time Risk Management, or RTRM, solutions for the financial securities market and Zoomvision Mamato, or ZVM, a company that provides live webcasting services primarily for investor relations professionals. ZVM is the leading provider of webcasting services in Northern Europe.

 

Competitive Strengths

 

Premier global exchange company. We are a premier global exchange company that is the largest cash equities market in terms of share value traded in the world. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market and the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic had an average daily trading volume of 8.6 million trades in cash equities, representing a value of approximately $15.1 trillion. In addition, across our markets, we had 3,558 listings representing 42 countries as of December 31, 2010. We have many of the world’s largest companies listed on our marketplaces. Our wholly-owned subsidiary The NASDAQ Stock Market continues to be the single largest liquidity pool for trading cash equities in the U.S.

 

Leader in global exchange technology. We believe we are the leader in global exchange technology. As the world’s first electronic stock exchange, we pioneered electronic trading and have continued to innovate over the last 30 years. Our INET platform processes trades at sub-millisecond transaction speeds with close to 100% system reliability. In addition, our platforms are highly scalable with current capacity at ten times the average daily volume allowing significantly higher transaction volume to be handled at low incremental cost.

 

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Furthermore, we were the first exchange to offer electronic trading and integrated derivatives trading and clearing to other exchanges and today have a global technology customer base of more than 70 marketplaces in over 50 countries worldwide, including China (Hong Kong), Japan, Singapore, Australia and the U.S. Our Genium INET ® offering, based on proven INET technology, provides technology customers with the speed, scale and reliability required to meet the specific needs of their markets. We believe that we will continue to provide leading technology for the world’s competitive and demanding capital markets, which increasingly require that exchanges be able to constantly secure the best price for investors and issuers, a natural strength of our technology and electronic trading platforms.

 

Diversified operations and products. We have a diversified business, both in terms of geography and product offerings. In addition, our recent acquisitions, investments and strategic initiatives have significantly diversified our product offerings, particularly in the derivatives trading and clearing, clearing of resale and repurchase agreements, commodities and surveillance technology businesses.

 

Proven and disciplined management team. We have a proven and disciplined management team that has substantial industry experience and expertise in making and integrating strategic acquisitions. Led by Robert Greifeld, our Chief Executive Officer, our executive management team has significant experience in the financial services industry. We believe the NASDAQ OMX management team has demonstrated an ability to innovate and respond effectively to market opportunities.

 

Commitment to regulatory integrity. As a global exchange company, we are subject to regulation in many jurisdictions worldwide. We are charged by regulators with maintaining fair and orderly markets for the benefit of investors, and we work to fulfill this obligation in several ways. In some instances, we have entered into agreements with independent third parties to provide regulatory oversight that is separate from our markets. In addition, we operate real-time market surveillance programs relating to trading and compliance-monitoring and enforcement programs with respect to listings on our markets. We are committed to strong and effective regulation and believe that regulatory integrity benefits investors, strengthens the NASDAQ OMX brand and attracts companies seeking to do business with us or to list securities on our markets.

 

Products and Services

 

We operate in three segments: Market Services, Issuer Services and Market Technology. Of our 2010 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,522 million, 67.3% was from our Market Services segment, 22.6% was from our Issuer Services segment, 10.0% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.1% related to other revenues. Of our 2009 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,453 million, 67.2% was from our Market Services segment, 22.7% was from our Issuer Services segment, 10.0% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.1% related to other revenues. Of our 2008 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,460 million, 67.5% was from our Market Services segment, 23.5% was from our Issuer Services segment, 8.2% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.8% related to other revenues.

 

See Note 18, “Segments,” to the consolidated financial statements for additional financial information about our segments and geographic data.

 

Market Services

 

Our Market Services segment includes our U.S. and European Transaction Services businesses, as well as our Market Data and Broker Services businesses. We offer trading on multiple exchanges and facilities across several asset classes, including cash equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and ETFs. In addition, in some of the countries where we operate exchanges, we also provide clearing, settlement and depository services.

 

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U.S. Transaction Services

 

In the U.S., we offer trading in cash equity securities, derivatives and ETFs on The NASDAQ Stock Market, The NASDAQ Options Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ OMX BX, NASDAQ OMX PSX and NASDAQ OMX Futures Exchange, or NFX, and engage in riskless principal trading of OTC power and gas contracts through NOCC. Our transaction-based platforms in the U.S. provide market participants with the ability to access, process, display and integrate orders and quotes for cash equity securities, derivatives and ETFs. The platforms allow the routing and execution of buy and sell orders as well as the reporting of transactions for cash equity securities, derivatives and ETFs, providing fee-based revenues.

 

Cash Equities Trading. The NASDAQ Stock Market is the largest single pool of liquidity for trading U.S.-listed cash equities, matching an average of approximately 18.8% of all U.S. cash equities volume for 2010.

 

In January 2009, we launched a second U.S. cash equities market, called NASDAQ OMX BX. With NASDAQ OMX BX, we offer a second quote within the U.S. cash equities marketplace, providing our customers enhanced trading choices and price flexibility. We have been able to leverage our INET trading system, which runs The NASDAQ Stock Market, to operate NASDAQ OMX BX, providing customers an additional fast and efficient cash equity securities market. In 2010, NASDAQ OMX BX matched an average of approximately 3.3% of all U.S. cash equities volume.

 

In October 2010, we launched a third U.S. cash equities market, called NASDAQ OMX PSX. This new market utilizes a price-size priority model and also runs on INET technology, leveraging the speed and efficiency benefits offered throughout NASDAQ OMX globally.

 

Our fully electronic U.S. transaction-based platforms provide members with the ability to access, process, display and integrate orders and quotes in cash equity securities on The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX. Market participants include market makers, broker-dealers, alternative trading systems, or ATSs, and registered securities exchanges. These services are offered for NASDAQ-listed and non-NASDAQ-listed securities. Specifically, our platforms:

 

   

Provide a comprehensive display of the interest by market participants at the highest price a participant is willing to buy a security (best bid) and also the lowest price a participant is willing to sell that security (best offer).

 

   

Provide subscribers quotes, orders and total anonymous interest at every price level for exchange-listed securities and critical data for the Opening Cross, Closing Cross, Halt Cross and IPO Cross.

 

   

Provide anonymity to market participants. In other words, participants do not know the identity of the firm displaying the order unless that firm chooses to reveal its identity, which can contribute to improved pricing for securities by reducing the potential market impact that transactions by investors whose trading activity, if known, may influence others.

 

Trade Reporting. All U.S. registered national securities exchanges and securities associations are required to establish a transaction reporting plan for the central collection of price and volume information concerning trades executed in those markets. Trades executed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX are automatically reported under the appropriate transaction reporting plan. Currently, market participants are not charged for the reporting of most of these trades. The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX, however, earn revenues for all of these trades in the form of shared market information revenues under the Unlisted Trading Privileges Plan, or the UTP Plan, for NASDAQ-listed securities and under the Consolidated Tape and Consolidated Quotation Plans for securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, NYSE Amex and other exchanges.

 

Through The FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility, or FINRA/NASDAQ TRF, we collect reports of trades executed by broker-dealers outside of our exchanges. The FINRA/NASDAQ TRF collects trade reports as a facility of FINRA. A large percentage of these trades results from orders that broker-dealers have matched

 

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internally, or internalized, and is submitted to the FINRA/NASDAQ TRF for reporting purposes only. The FINRA/NASDAQ TRF charges market participants for locked in reporting of most trades, but it shares back most revenues earned from shared market information with respect to the trades. The FINRA/NASDAQ TRF also generates revenues by providing trade comparison to broker dealers by matching and locking-in the two parties to a trade that they have submitted to the FINRA/NASDAQ TRF for reporting and clearing.

 

In addition to trade reporting and trade comparison services, we provide clearing firms with risk management services to assist them in monitoring their exposure to their correspondent brokers.

 

U.S. Derivative Trading and Clearing. In the U.S., we operate The NASDAQ Options Market and NASDAQ OMX PHLX for the trading of equity options, ETF options, index options and currency options. As of December 31, 2010, NASDAQ OMX PHLX was the largest options market in the U.S. NASDAQ OMX PHLX operates a hybrid electronic and floor-based market as a distinct market alongside The NASDAQ Options Market. During the year ended December 31, 2010, NASDAQ OMX PHLX and The NASDAQ Options Market had an average combined market share of approximately 27.4% in the U.S. equity options market, consisting of approximately 23.4% at NASDAQ OMX PHLX and approximately 4.0% at The NASDAQ Options Market. Together, the 27.4% represented the largest share of the U.S. equity and ETF options market. Our options trading platforms provide trading opportunities to both retail investors and high frequency trading firms, who tend to prefer electronic trading, and institutional investors, who typically pursue more complex trading strategies and often prefer to trade on the floor.

 

In the U.S., we also operate NFX which offers trading for currency futures and other financial futures. Most futures traded on NFX clear at The Options Clearing Corporation, or OCC. In addition, NFX serves as the designated contract market for interest rate swap futures that are cleared through IDCH.

 

Through IDCH, our majority-owned subsidiary IDCG brings a centrally-cleared solution to the largest segment of the OTC derivatives marketplace, specifically interest rate derivatives. IDCH acts as the CCP for clearing interest rate swap futures contracts. IDCH utilizes NASDAQ OMX matching and clearing technology to clear and settle these interest rate derivative products.

 

With the purchase of the assets of North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp. in March 2010 by our newly-established subsidiary NOCC, NASDAQ OMX also expanded its presence in the OTC energy commodity markets.

 

Acquisition of FTEN. In December 2010, we completed our acquisition of FTEN, a leading provider of RTRM solutions for the financial securities market. As a market leader in RTRM, FTEN is well positioned to grow as the industry is becoming more focused on solutions for effectively managing risk. Market participants are seeking tools that provide real-time, low latency enterprise-wide risk management, market awareness and control. FTEN’s technology provides broker-dealers and their clients the ability to manage risk more effectively in real-time, which leads to better utilization of capital as well as improved regulatory compliance. We will offer FTEN solutions to our global base of broker-dealers and the international exchange community.

 

European Transaction Services

 

Nordics. NASDAQ OMX Nordic’s operations comprise the exchanges in Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), and Iceland. The exchanges offer trading for cash equities and bonds, trading and clearing services for derivatives, and beginning September 2010, clearing services for resale and repurchase agreements. Our platform allows the exchanges to share the same trading system, which enables efficient cross-border trading and settlement, cross membership and a single source for Nordic market data.

 

Trading is offered in Nordic securities such as cash equities and depository receipts, warrants, convertibles, rights, fund units, ETFs, bonds and other interest-related products. NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and NASDAQ

 

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OMX Copenhagen also offer trading in derivatives, such as stock options and futures, index options and futures, fixed-income options and futures and stock loans. Settlement and registration of cash trading takes place in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland via the local central securities depositories.

 

In 2009, NASDAQ OMX expanded its trading offering to include cash equities listed in Norway and launched a new portfolio of Norwegian derivatives products. The offering is designed to provide lower trading costs and other benefits for customers seeking to trade all Nordic cash equity products on one platform. NASDAQ OMX has been the second largest market for trading in Norwegian stocks since 2009.

 

Through our clearing operations in the derivative markets with NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, we are the legal counterparty for each derivative position traded and thereby guarantee the fulfillment of each contract. We also act as the counterparty for certain trades on OTC derivative contracts. The derivatives are not used by NASDAQ OMX Stockholm for the purpose of trading on its own behalf. As the legal counterparty of each transaction, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm bears the counterparty risk between the purchaser and the seller in the contract. The counterparty risks are measured using models that are agreed to with the Financial Supervisory Authority of the applicable country, which requires us to provide minimum guarantees and maintain certain levels of regulatory capital.

 

The structure and operations of NASDAQ OMX Stockholm differ from other clearinghouses. NASDAQ OMX Stockholm is not a member-owned organization, does not maintain a guarantee fund to which members contribute and does not enforce loss sharing assessments amongst members. In addition, unlike other clearinghouses, it does not record any margin deposits and guarantee funds, as all risks and rewards of collateral ownership, including interest, belongs to the counterparty. Market participants must provide collateral to cover the daily margin call as needed, which is in addition to the initial collateral placed when entering into the transaction. Acceptable collateral is cash and eligible securities in a pledged bank account and/or an on-demand guarantee. All collateral is maintained at a third-party custodian bank for the benefit of the clearing members and is accessible by NASDAQ OMX in the event of default. In addition, market participants must meet certain minimum financial standards to mitigate the risk if they become unable to satisfy their obligations. For NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, following the completion of a transaction, settlement primarily takes place between parties by net cash settlement or with the exchange of securities and funds. For those transactions where there is an exchange of securities and funds, the transfer of ownership is registered and the securities are stored on the owner’s behalf.

 

Beginning in October 2009, most of our cash equity trades on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic are centrally cleared by EMCF, a leading European clearinghouse in which we own a 22% equity stake.

 

In September 2010, NASDAQ OMX launched a clearing service for the resale and repurchase agreement market together with market participants. As a result of an agreement between the Swedish Money Market Council and NASDAQ OMX, the entire Swedish Interbank resale and repurchase agreement market will ultimately be cleared through NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. Similar to derivative clearing discussed above, through our clearing operations in the resale and repurchase markets with NASDSQ OMX Stockholm, we are the legal counterparty for each resale and repurchase contract traded and thereby guarantee the fulfillment of each contract. We only clear these transactions once a bilateral contract between members has been entered into whereby the two members have agreed on all terms in the transaction. The resale and repurchase agreements are not used for financing purposes by NASDAQ OMX. As the legal counterparty of each transaction, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm bears the counterparty risk between the purchaser and the seller in a resale and repurchase agreement. As discussed above, the structure and operations for the resale and repurchase market is similar to the derivative market. For resale and repurchase agreements, collateral is not held by NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. All resale and repurchase clearing activities are transacted under our clearing member agreements that give us the right, in the event of default, to liquidate collateral pledged between the clearing members and to offset receivables and payables with the same counterparty.

 

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Pledged collateral, which is transferred through NASDAQ OMX Stockholm at initiation of the bilateral contract between the two clearing member counterparties, primarily consists of Swedish government debt securities. Market participants must meet certain minimum financial standards to mitigate the risk if they become unable to satisfy their obligations. In the event that one of the participants cannot fulfill its obligation to deliver or receive the underlying security at the agreed upon price, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm is required to buy or sell the security in the open market to fulfill its obligation. In order to protect itself against a price movement in the value of the underlying security, or price risk, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm requires all participants to provide additional margin, which is valued on a daily basis and is maintained at a third-party custodian bank for the benefit of the clearing members and is accessible by NASDAQ OMX Stockholm in the event of default.

 

Baltics. NASDAQ OMX Baltic operations comprise the exchanges in Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania). During the first quarter of 2010, we acquired the remaining 7% minority holding in NASDAQ OMX Tallinn and an additional ownership stake of 0.4% in NASDAQ OMX Vilnius, both for immaterial amounts. As of December 31, 2010, NASDAQ OMX owns 100% of NASDAQ OMX Tallinn, 95% of NASDAQ OMX Vilnius and 93% of NASDAQ OMX Riga. In addition, NASDAQ OMX Tallinn owns 100% of the central securities depository in Estonia, NASDAQ OMX Riga owns 100% of the central securities depository in Latvia, and NASDAQ OMX Vilnius owns 40% of the central securities depository in Lithuania.

 

The exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Baltic offer their members trading, clearing, payment and custody services. Issuers, primarily large local companies, are offered listing and a distribution network for their securities. The securities traded are mainly cash equities, bonds and treasury bills. Clearing, payment and custody services are offered through the central securities depositories in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition, in Estonia and Latvia, NASDAQ OMX offers registry maintenance of fund units included in obligatory pension funds, and in Estonia, NASDAQ OMX offers the maintenance of shareholder registers for listed companies. The Baltic central securities depositories offer a complete range of cross-border settlement services.

 

Pan-European. In the second quarter of 2010, we made a strategic decision to close the business of our pan-European multilateral trading facility NASDAQ OMX Europe, or NEURO. We retained our London office and data hub, where we support trading and market data clients, run the U.K. power exchange N2EX and manage our overseas listings operation. Our decision to close the business of NEURO will not have a significant impact on our future results of operations.

 

Commodities Trading and Clearing. NASDAQ OMX Commodities offers derivatives and carbon products, operates a clearing business and offers consulting services to commodities markets globally. With our acquisition of Nord Pool, NASDAQ OMX Commodities’ offering now includes the world’s largest power derivatives exchange and one of Europe’s largest carbon exchanges.

 

NASDAQ OMX Commodities has 361 members across a wide range of energy producers and consumers, as well as financial institutions. NASDAQ OMX Commodities’ offering is designed for banks, brokers, hedge funds and other financial institutions, as well as power utilities, industrial, manufacturing and oil companies. NASDAQ OMX Commodities offers clearing services for energy derivative and carbon product contracts by serving as the CCP. Similar to derivative clearing and resale and repurchase agreement clearing on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm discussed above, through our clearing operations in the derivative markets with NASDAQ OMX Commodities, we are also the legal counterparty for each derivative position traded and thereby guarantee the fulfillment of each contract. We also act as the counterparty for certain trades on OTC derivative contracts. The derivatives are not used by NASDAQ OMX Commodities for the purpose of trading on its own behalf. As the legal counterparty of each transaction, NASDAQ OMX Commodities bears the counterparty risk between the purchaser and seller in the contract. The counterparty risks are measured using models that are agreed to with the Financial Supervisory Authority of the applicable country, which require us to provide minimum guarantees and maintain certain levels of regulatory capital. NASDAQ OMX Commodities utilizes the same structure and operations as the derivative markets for NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, discussed above. Trading on the contracts can take place up until the delivery period which may occur over a period of several years.

 

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In January 2010, NASDAQ OMX Commodities and Nord Pool Spot launched N2EX, a marketplace for physical UK power contracts.

 

Access Services

 

We provide market participants with several alternatives for accessing our markets for a fee. Shifting connectivity from proprietary networks to third-party networks has significantly reduced technology and network costs and increased our systems’ scalability without affecting performance or reliability.

 

Our U.S. marketplaces may be accessed via a number of different protocols. The Financial Information Exchange product that uses the FIX protocol, a standard method of financial communication between trading firms and vendors, enables firms to leverage their existing FIX technology with cost-effective connections to our markets. Market participants may also access our systems using QIX, a proprietary programming interface that provides a more streamlined and efficient protocol for our users with expanded functionality, including quotation updates, and computer-to-computer interface, a protocol that allows market participants to enter transactions directly from their computer systems to our computer systems. Finally, firms may use former INET protocols, such as OUCH and RASH, to access our single trading platform. As an alternative to firm-developed trading front-end, our system offers the NASDAQ Workstation, an internet browser based interface that allows market participants to view market data and enter orders, quotes and trade reports.

 

We provide co-location services to market participants whereby firms may lease space for equipment within our data center. These participants are charged monthly fees for cabinet space, connectivity and support. We also earn revenues from annual and monthly exchange membership and registration fees.

 

Market Data

 

We earn Market Data revenues from U.S. tape plans and U.S. and European proprietary market data products.

 

U.S. Tape Plans. The NASDAQ Stock Market operates as the exclusive Securities Information Processor of the UTP Plan for the collection and dissemination of best bid and offer information and last transaction information from markets that quote and trade in NASDAQ-listed securities. The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX are participants in the UTP Plan and share in the net distribution of revenue according to the plan on the same terms as the other plan participants. In the role as the Securities Information Processor, The NASDAQ Stock Market collects and disseminates quotation and last sale information for all transactions in NASDAQ-listed securities whether traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market or other exchanges. We sell this information to market participants and to data distributors, who then provide the information to subscribers. After deducting costs associated with our role as an exclusive Securities Information Processor, as permitted under the revenue sharing provision of the UTP Plan, we distribute the tape revenues to the respective UTP Plan participants, including The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX, based on a formula required by Regulation NMS that takes into account both trading and quoting activity. In addition, all quotes and trades in NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities are reported and disseminated in real time, and as such, we share in the tape revenues for information on NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities.

 

U.S. Market Data Products. Our market data products enhance transparency and provide critical information to professional and non-professional investors. We collect, process and create information and earn revenues as a distributor of our own, as well as select third-party content. We provide varying levels of quote and trade information to market participants and to data distributors, who in turn provide subscriptions for this information. Our systems enable distributors to gain direct access to our market depth, index values, mutual fund valuation, order imbalances, market sentiment and other analytical data. We earn revenues primarily based on the number of data subscribers and distributors of our data.

 

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We distribute this proprietary market information to both market participants and non-participants through a number of proprietary products. We use our broad distribution network of more than 1,800 market data distributors to deliver data regarding our market depth, index values, mutual fund valuation, order imbalances, market sentiment and other analytical data. We offer a range of proprietary data products, including NASDAQ TotalView, our flagship market depth quote product. TotalView shows subscribers quotes, orders and total anonymous interest at every price level in The NASDAQ Stock Market for NASDAQ-listed securities and critical data for the Opening, Closing, Halt and IPO Crosses.

 

TotalView is offered through distributors to professional subscribers for a monthly fee per terminal and to non-professional subscribers for a lower monthly fee per terminal. We also offer TotalView enterprise licenses to facilitate broad based distribution of this data. In addition, we charge the distributor a monthly distributor fee.

 

We operate several other proprietary services and data products to provide market information, which include:

 

   

NASDAQ Basic, launched in 2009, which offers a flexible and affordable way to provide customers with essential trading data of best bid and offer and last sale information;

 

   

NASDAQ Last Sale, which provides broad based and universal access to real-time last sale information via Internet portals;

 

   

NASDAQ Market Replay, a powerful replay and analysis tool that allows users to view order book and trade data for NASDAQ, NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities at any point in time;

 

   

NASDAQ OMX DataStore, which is designed to transform the market data industry through use of plug-and-play technology to deliver new proprietary information content;

 

   

Mutual Fund Quotation Service, a service for over 26,000 mutual funds, money market funds and unit investment trusts that supports fund data, including net asset values, and capital gains and dividend income distribution and provides print and electronic media exposure for the funds;

 

   

Mutual Fund Dissemination Service, which is a service that facilitates the real-time and end-of-day recap dissemination of all mutual fund pricing information and is used by data vendors and media to receive complete net asset value data on funds;

 

   

Global Index Dissemination Service, released in 2009, which is a real-time data feed that carries the values for a number of broad-based and sector indexes and ETFs;

 

   

RussellTick, released in 2010, which is a data feed that consolidates the distribution of the Russell family of indexes; and

 

   

Top of PHLX Options Plus Orders, or TOPO Plus Orders, which is a data product for the NASDAQ OMX PHLX options market.

 

European Market Data Products. The exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic, NASDAQ OMX Baltic and NASDAQ OMX Commodities offer European market data products and services. These data products and services provide critical market transparency to professional and non-professional investors who participate in European marketplaces and, at the same time, give investors greater insight into these markets.

 

European market data products and services are based on the trading information from the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic, NASDAQ OMX Baltic and NASDAQ OMX Commodities for four classes of assets: cash equities, bonds, derivatives and commodities. We provide varying levels of quote and trade information to market participants and to data distributors, who in turn provide subscriptions for this information. Revenues from European market data are subscription-based and are generated primarily based on the number of data subscribers and distributors of our data.

 

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We provide a wide range of data products including products in real-time, some with a time delay or in batch delivery. These products and services are packaged for market professionals as well as for private individuals, and include real-time information on market depth, specific transactions and share-price trends, the compilation and calculation of reference information such as indexes and the presentation of statistics.

 

Significant European market data products include:

 

   

Nordic Equity TotalView, which provides full market insight into the order book, news and analysis data for all Nordic cash equities. The product also includes index values and weights and liquidity measure indicators;

 

   

Nordic Derivative Level 2, which provides listing details, trade information, derived information and order book information with the five best levels of bid and ask prices with the respective total quantity;

 

   

Nordic Fixed Income Level 2, which provides listing details, order book information, bid and ask quotes for up to five levels, trade information, derived information, indicative bid and ask quotes, daily turnover statistics and company disclosures; and

 

   

European Last Sale, which provides broad based and universal access to real-time last sale information via Internet portals.

 

Broker Services

 

Our Broker Services operations offer technology and customized securities administration solutions to financial participants in the Nordic market. Broker Services provides services through a registered securities company that is regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, or SFSA. The primary services consist of flexible back-office systems, which allow customers to entirely or partly outsource their company’s back-office functions.

 

We offer customer and account registration, business registration, clearing and settlement, corporate action handling for reconciliations and reporting to authorities. Available services also include direct settlement with the Nordic central securities depositories, real-time updating and communication via the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, to deposit banks.

 

Issuer Services

 

Our Issuer Services segment includes our Global Listing Services and Global Index Group businesses. We offer capital raising solutions to companies around the globe and have more worldwide listings than any other global exchange group—approximately 3,600 companies representing approximately $5.7 trillion in total market value as of December 31, 2010.

 

We operate a variety of listing platforms around the world to provide multiple global capital raising solutions for private and public companies. Our main listing markets are The NASDAQ Stock Market and the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic. We offer a consolidated global listing application to companies to enable them to apply for listing on The NASDAQ Stock Market and the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic, as well as NASDAQ Dubai.

 

Global Listing Services

 

Our Global Listing Services business includes our U.S. Listings, European Listings and Corporate Solutions businesses.

 

U.S. Listings. Companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market represent a diverse array of industries including health care, consumer products, telecommunication services, information technology, financial services, industrials and energy.

 

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Companies seeking to list securities on The NASDAQ Stock Market must meet minimum listing requirements, including specified financial and corporate governance criteria. Once listed, companies must meet continued listing standards. The NASDAQ Stock Market currently has three listing tiers: The NASDAQ Global Select Market, The NASDAQ Global Market and The NASDAQ Capital Market. All three market tiers maintain rigorous listing and corporate governance standards (both initial and ongoing).

 

As of December 31, 2010, a total of 2,778 companies listed securities on The NASDAQ Stock Market, with 1,323 listings on The NASDAQ Global Select Market, 975 on The NASDAQ Global Market and 480 on The NASDAQ Capital Market.

 

We aggressively pursue new listings from companies, including those undergoing IPOs as well as companies seeking to switch from alternative exchanges. In 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market attracted 195 new listings. Included in these listings were 89 IPOs, almost 47% of the total U.S. IPOs in 2010. The new listings were comprised of the following:

 

Total New Listings on The NASDAQ Stock Market

     195   

Switches from NYSE/NYSE Amex

     12   

IPOs

     89   

Upgrades from OTC

     54   

ETFs, Structured Products and Other Listings

     40   

 

In 2010, the following three NYSE-listed companies switched to The NASDAQ Stock Market, representing $9.6 billion in market capitalization: Hasbro, Inc., Avis Budget Group, Inc. and Potlatch Corporation. A total of eight companies switched from NYSE Amex and one company switched from NYSE Arca to The NASDAQ Stock Market in 2010.

 

European Listings. We also offer listings on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic. For smaller companies and growth companies, we offer access to the financial markets through the NASDAQ OMX First North alternative marketplaces. As of December 31, 2010, a total of 780 companies listed securities on our Nordic and Baltic exchanges and NASDAQ OMX First North. Measured in terms of the market capitalization of listed companies, as of December 31, 2010, NASDAQ OMX Nordic was the second largest marketplace in Europe for IT companies, the largest marketplace in the world for the paper industry, the second largest marketplace in the world for apparel retail companies and third largest marketplace in the world for the industrial machinery industry.

 

Our European listing customers are organizations such as companies, funds or governments. Customers issue securities in the forms of cash equities, depository receipts, warrants, ETFs, convertibles, rights, options, bonds and fixed-income related products. In 2010, a total of 25 new companies were listed on our Nordic and Baltic exchanges and NASDAQ OMX First North.

 

Corporate Solutions. Our Corporate Solutions business provides customer support services, products and programs to companies, including companies listed on our exchanges. Through our Corporate Solutions offerings, companies gain access to innovative products and services that ease transparency, mitigate risk, maximize board efficiency and facilitate better corporate governance. We provide corporate solutions in the following key areas of focus:

 

   

Investor Relations . We provide industry-leading investor relations and news distribution products designed to make it easier for companies to interact and communicate with analysts and investors while meeting corporate governance and disclosure requirements.

 

   

Market Monitoring . We offer unique proprietary services that help companies monitor their stock and track peer performance.

 

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Board Practice . We offer management solutions to ensure board member effectiveness.

 

   

Global Visibility. We provide ways for companies to increase their visibility through our MarketSite offerings and access to discounts and special offers from other listed companies.

 

   

PORTAL . In addition to traditional public offerings, SEC Rule 144A provides public and private companies with another option for effectively raising capital at a lower cost and with fewer regulatory hurdles. We have managed the process to designate SEC Rule 144A unregistered securities as PORTAL securities since 1990.

 

In December 2010, we completed our acquisition of ZVM, a provider of webcasting and investor relations communication services for companies in the Nordic region. ZVM, which is the leading provider of webcasting services in Northern Europe, will add to the growing range of capabilities and services NASDAQ OMX offers public and private companies in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Global Index Group

 

We are one of the world’s leading index providers. We develop and license NASDAQ OMX branded indexes, associated derivatives and financial products as part of our Global Index Group. We believe that these indexes and products leverage, extend and enhance the NASDAQ OMX brand. License fees for our trademark licenses vary by product based on a percentage of underlying assets, dollar value of a product issuance, number of products or number of contracts traded. In addition to generating licensing revenues, these products, particularly mutual funds and ETFs, lead to increased investments in companies listed on our global exchanges, which enhances our ability to attract new listings. We also license cash-settled options, futures and options on futures on our indexes.

 

Our flagship index, the NASDAQ-100 Index, includes the top 100 non-financial securities listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. With the launch of new index families such as the Green Economy and Sharia families, we now have over 1,600 diverse indexes, with 238 launched in 2010. NASDAQ OMX indexes are the basis for over 2,900 structured products in 27 countries. In 2010, product sponsors launched 24 ETFs based on NASDAQ OMX indexes. We also license cash-settled options, futures and options on futures on our indexes.

 

Market Technology

 

Powering more than 70 markets in over 50 countries, we are the world’s leading technology solutions provider and partner to exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories. Our technology business is also the sales channel for our complete global offering to other marketplaces.

 

Technology Solutions. The systems solutions we offer support trading, clearing, settlement, surveillance and information dissemination for markets with wide ranging requirements, from smaller African markets to the leading markets in the US, Europe and Asia. Furthermore, the solutions we offer can handle all classes of assets, including cash equities, currencies, various interest-bearing securities, commodities, energy products and derivatives on any of these assets.

 

NASDAQ OMX’s technology solutions are utilized by, among others, the Australian Securities Exchange, Bolsa de Valores de Colombia, Egypt Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, SIX Swiss Exchange, Singapore Exchanges and Tokyo Commodity Exchange.

 

Our trading and market data solutions are utilized by exchanges, alternative-trading venues and banks and securities brokers with marketplace offerings of their own. In the post trade stage, we offer integrated systems solutions for clearing (risk management) and settlement (settlement and delivery) of both cash equities and derivatives to clearing organizations around the world.

 

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Systems Integration, Operation and Support. A central part of many projects is facility management and systems integration. Through our integration services, we can assume total responsibility for projects involving migration to a new system and the establishment of entirely new marketplaces. We also offer operation and support for the applications, systems platforms, networks and other components included in a turn-key information technology solution. By transferring the operation and support of systems to us, the customer can focus on its core operations and reduce its operational risk level. At the same time, economies of scale can be achieved, by allowing the customer access to existing, effective technology and infrastructure.

 

Advisory Services. Our advisory services are designed to support our customers’ strategies and help them with critical decisions in a highly demanding business environment. Operating our own exchanges and partnering with global marketplaces, we continually gain insight on developments in the financial world. We understand first-hand how marketplaces operate, the challenges they face and the complex technology infrastructures that support them. Our consultants have deep experience in strategy, operations and change management, and are backed by the combined knowledge of NASDAQ OMX as well as a network of external experts in the exchange industry.

 

Surveillance . In August 2010, we completed our acquisition of SMARTS, a leading technology provider of surveillance solutions to exchanges, regulators and brokers. This acquisition is part of our strategy to diversify our Market Technology business and enter the broker surveillance and compliance market. We believe that this acquisition will strengthen our position as the leading technology partner to marketplaces worldwide.

 

Core Technology. Technology plays a key role in ensuring the growth and reliability of financial markets. At NASDAQ OMX, we are committed to innovation through technology to ensure our position as a driving force in the exchange industry and to provide the best possible trading experience for our customers and investors. Investment decisions are made based on customer needs and general market trends.

 

We continuously improve our core technology with a focus on reducing latency and improving capacity and reliability. NASDAQ OMX’s next generation technology is capable of handling multi-million messages per second at an average speed of sub-100 microseconds, currently the fastest of any exchange or alternative trading system in the world.

 

The foundation for NASDAQ OMX’s core technology is INET. The INET technology is used across NASDAQ OMX’s U.S. and European markets. INET is also the main building block of our Market Technology offering, Genium INET. Genium INET combines innovative functionality with a modular approach to manage change and create new advantages for existing and new customers, as well as our own marketplaces.

 

Intellectual Property

 

We own or have licensed rights to trade names, trademarks, domain names and service marks that we use in conjunction with our operations and services. We have registered many of our most important trademarks in the United States and in foreign countries. For example, our primary “NASDAQ” mark is a registered trademark in the United States and in over 50 other countries worldwide and the OMX trademark also has been registered worldwide. We also have trademark registrations for the most important trade names of NASDAQ OMX Nordic and our operations in Europe. Many of these trademarks are registered in a number of countries. An example of the registered trademarks used in our European operations include: OMX, GENIUM, Genium INET, SECUR, CLICK XT and EXIGO.

 

We also maintain copyright protection in our NASDAQ-branded materials and pursue patent protection for NASDAQ OMX-developed inventions and processes. We focus on gaining patent protection for the software functionality that we develop in order for us to fully benefit from our research and development investments. We accomplish this through the evaluation of inventions, the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications for inventions deemed worthwhile to pursue, the maintenance of granted patents, the coordination of information within the organization about patents and the monitoring of competitors for possible use of patented information.

 

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Competition

 

Market Services. The cash equity securities markets are intensely competitive. We compete in the U.S. against NYSE Euronext, BATS Global Markets, Direct Edge, regional exchanges and alternative trading systems, or ATSs. In Europe, our major competitors include NYSE Euronext, Deutsche Börse, the London Stock Exchange Group plc, or LSE, the Spanish Exchanges, SIX Swiss Exchange, and multilateral trading facilities, or MTFs, such as Chi-X and BATS Europe, which are similar to U.S. ATSs. Competition also comes from broker-dealers and from off-board or OTC trading in the U.S. and elsewhere.

 

In bond trading, we compete in Europe with alternative marketplaces such as EuroMTS Limited. For derivatives products, competition comes in the form of trading and clearing that takes place OTC, usually through banks and brokerage firms, or through trading and clearing competition with other exchanges. The competitive significance in Europe of these varied alternative trading venues is likely to increase in the future, with the regulatory environment in Europe becoming more favorable to alternative trading venues as a result of the reforms required by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID, and a broader effort to increase competition in financial services.

 

Competition is based on a number of factors, including the quality of our technological and regulatory infrastructure, total transaction costs, the depth and breadth of liquidity, the quality of value-added customer services, reputation and the direct cost of trade execution.

 

Cash equity securities trading. The U.S. marketplace continues to evolve as the number of exchanges increases and less heavily regulated broker-owned trading systems and ATSs, known collectively as dark pools, expand in number and activity. While many of the new entrants may have limited liquidity, some may attract significant levels of cash equity order volume through aggressive pricing, through interconnections with other systems, and from volume originating with broker-dealer owners and investors. Broker-dealer owned systems continued the rapid growth that began in 2009 throughout 2010. In addition, there remains interest in electronic trading systems specializing primarily in large block trades, such as LiquidNet, Pipeline Trading and Investment Technology Group’s POSIT platform. During 2010, three new exchange competitors to NASDAQ OMX appeared. In July 2010, Direct Edge received SEC approval to operate its two markets (EDGA and EDGX) as exchanges and in October 2010, BATS launched a second exchange (BATS-Y). During 2010, NASDAQ OMX also launched its third cash equity exchange, NASDAQ OMX PSX, to provide a third alternative combination of pricing and features. Finally, 2010 saw two significant regulatory events that could result in significant changes in the competitive landscape: the SEC published a market structure concept release early in 2010 and the May 6 th “flash crash” accelerated rulemaking intended to prevent repeat of that day’s extreme price changes. Rules concerning halting trading during volatile markets, market access, algorithmic (high frequency) trading, alternative trading systems such as dark pools, and other market structure issues could change the competitive landscape by helping or hurting NASDAQ OMX or its competitors’ business models.

 

The European landscape is continuing to adapt to the competitive forces released by MiFID in November 2007. Throughout Europe, new MTFs have been created with the most prominent MTFs (Chi-X, Turquoise, and BATS) based in the United Kingdom and attracting a significant share of electronically matched volume. MTFs continue to grow their business in shares listed on our Nordic exchanges. Trade reporting alternatives to incumbent exchanges, such as Markit BOAT, or BOAT, also continue to be active. Electronic trading systems interested in pursuing block business have long been active in Europe and are looking to grow their businesses. In the Nordics, the Burgundy MTF grew modestly in 2010 and plans to expand its business in 2011. These entrants pursue many of the same strategies to attract order flow as do ATSs in the U.S., which include attractive pricing, participant investment, technological innovation and pursuit of exchange status. Because of the success of the new entrants, incumbent exchanges have lowered prices, adopted new technology, and prepared to compete aggressively for trading volumes and revenue. While the state of competition in Europe remains evolutionary, the level of competition faced by incumbent national exchanges will remain intense.

 

As a result of the conditions in the U.S. and Europe, we experience competition in our core trading activities such as execution services, quoting and trading capabilities, and reporting services. Many of our competitors have engaged in aggressive price competition by reducing the trade execution transaction fees they charge their

 

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customers. As a result of this competition, we significantly reduced the trade execution transaction fees we charge our customers in the past, particularly our large-volume customers. We periodically reexamine our pricing structure to ensure that our fees remain competitive.

 

Derivatives. Our principal competitors for trading options in the U.S. include the Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, the International Securities Exchange, or ISE, NYSE ARCA, NYSE Amex and the Boston Options Exchange, or BOX. Competition is focused on providing market participants with greater functionality, trading system stability, customer service, efficient pricing, and speed of execution. NASDAQ OMX operates two options exchanges with different market structures. NASDAQ OMX PHLX operates a pro-rata hybrid electronic and floor based exchange and competes most directly with CBOE, ISE, NYSE Arca and NYSE Amex. The NASDAQ Options Market operates a price/time priority exchange and competes most directly with NYSE ARCA and BOX. Both BATS and the CBOE launched new options exchanges in 2010, with BATS being somewhat similar to The NASDAQ Options Market. The further intensifying of competition for exchange traded options means that we must continuously review our technology and pricing.

 

MiFID does not address competition between derivatives markets to the extent that it addresses cash equities trading and consequently has been slower to affect competition in trading derivative securities. Exchange based competition for trading in European derivatives continues to occur mainly where there is competition in trading for the underlying equities and our competition for options on European equities is primarily with EUREX Group, NYSE Liffe, EDX London Limited, or EDX, and, to a limited extent, the U.S. options exchanges. Such competition is limited to options on a small number of equity securities although these securities tend to be among the most active. In addition to exchange based competition in derivatives, we continue to face competition from OTC derivative markets.

 

As trading in Europe evolves under the current review of the original MiFID legislation, competition for trading volumes in derivatives will likely increase. Both current and potential competition require us to constantly reassess our pricing and product offerings in order to remain competitive.

 

Clearing. In both the U.S. and Europe, cash equity clearing has been organized along national lines. Typically, a single clearinghouse would serve essentially all cash equity trading involving securities listed on exchanges within a nation’s borders. Some countries, such as Sweden, did not have a clearinghouse until 2009. In some countries, such as the U.S., the clearinghouse is part of the same organization as the Central Securities Depository, or CSD. In some, such as Germany, the clearinghouse and the stock exchange are part of the same corporate structure, and in others, such as the U.K., the clearinghouse, exchange, and CSD are separate. Furthermore, there is a much shorter history of using CCP services in European clearing than in the U.S. Regardless of past practice, competition is beginning to come to the clearing business in response to the European Code of Conduct in Clearing and Settlement in Europe and initiatives by NASDAQ OMX in the U.S. At this time, competition in clearing in Europe remains limited with a few new non-national clearinghouses such as EMCF, X-Clear and EuroCCP serving non-national multilateral trading facilities or offering alternative clearing facilities for trades executed on incumbent exchanges.

 

In the U.S., competition in equity clearing has been legislatively called for since 1975 but only recently have technological advances made competitive clearing in the U.S. a viable possibility. Should clearing competition become a vibrant reality in the U.S., it may have an impact on equity trading and on our business as clearing is a non-trivial cost of trade execution. We believe that the clearing business in both the U.S. and Europe would benefit from competition. Even as a 22% equity owner of EMCF, one of the largest cash equities clearinghouses in Europe, we support interoperability of cash equities clearinghouses, which will foster a healthy competition among cash equities clearinghouses in Europe.

 

Market data services. The market data business in the U.S. includes both consolidated and proprietary data products. Consolidated data products are distributed by SEC-mandated consolidators (one for NASDAQ-listed

 

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stocks and another for NYSE and other-listed stocks) that share the revenue among the exchanges that contribute data. Proprietary data products are made up exclusively of data derived from each exchange’s systems. In Europe, all market data products are proprietary as there is no official data consolidator.

 

Our revenues from the sale of consolidated market data products and services are under competitive threat from other securities exchanges that trade NASDAQ-listed securities. Current SEC regulations permit these regional exchanges and FINRA’s Alternative Display Facility to quote and trade NASDAQ-listed securities. Trade reporting facilities regulated by FINRA are also operated by The NASDAQ Stock Market and other exchanges. The UTP Plan entitles these exchanges, FINRA’s Alternative Display Facility, and the trade reporting facilities to a share of UTP Plan tape fees, based on the formula required by Regulation NMS that takes into account both trading and quoting activity. In addition, The NASDAQ Stock Market similarly competes for the tape fees from the sale of information on NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities for those respective tape plans.

 

Participants in the tape plans have used tape fee revenues to establish payment for order flow arrangements with their members and customers. In January 2004, we implemented a new tiered pricing structure and the Nasdaq General Revenue Sharing Program, which provided incentives for quoting market participants to send orders and report trades to The NASDAQ Stock Market. We continuously evaluate and refine both programs. To remain competitive, in July 2006 and in January 2008, we changed the terms of the program and established a new Nasdaq Data Revenue Sharing Program. In December 2010, we again changed the terms of the program effective January 2011. We may adjust either program in the future to respond to competitive pressures.

 

The sale of our proprietary data products in both the U.S. and Europe is under competitive threat from alternative exchanges and trading venues that offer similar products, sometimes at a lower price or free of charge. Our market data business competes with other exchanges and third party vendors in providing information to market participants. Consequently, our data products must be competitive in speed, reliability, content and price to succeed in the marketplace. New exchanges and trading systems entering the market have recognized the strong connection between market data and transactions volume and new entrants typically price their market data very aggressively in order to grow transactions volume, thereby limiting our flexibility in pricing market data. Any action by a market participant to provide information to another exchange or market data vendor could have a negative impact on our data products. The market data business must also adapt to rapidly changing information delivery technologies and constantly invest in innovative product design and development. Other market data providers may not face the regulatory obligations we face and may consequently be more flexible in pricing and more agile in deploying new products and business methods to our detriment. The growth of the number of proprietary data feeds offered by NASDAQ OMX and other exchanges has also increased the reluctance of some data vendors to add new feeds to their product offerings which further complicates exchanges’ efforts to expand their market data offerings.

 

Listings. Our primary competitor for larger company listings in the U.S. on The NASDAQ Stock Market is the NYSE. The NASDAQ Stock Market also competes with NYSE Amex for listing of smaller companies and the BATS and DirectEdge exchanges have announced their intention to compete for listings in the future. The NASDAQ Stock Market also competes with local and overseas markets for listings by companies that choose to list outside of their home country.

 

The listings business in Europe is characterized by the large number of exchanges competing for new or secondary listings. Each country has one or more national exchanges that are often the first choice of companies in the respective countries. For those considering an alternative, the European exchanges that attract the most overseas listings are LSE, NYSE Euronext, Deutsche Börse and the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic. In addition to the larger exchanges, companies are able to consider smaller markets and quoting facilities, such as LSE’s Alternative Investment Market, Euronext’s Alternext, Deutsche Börse’s Entry Standard, Borsa Italiana’s Expandi Market, PLUS Markets plc, the Pink Sheets LLC and the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, or OTCBB. Other exchanges in Sweden include the Nordic Growth Market and Aktietorget, which primarily serve companies with small market capitalizations.

 

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Indexes. The NASDAQ Stock Market is subject to intense competition for the listing of financial products from other exchanges. The indexes on which these products are based face competition from indexes created by a large number of index providers. For example, there are a number of indexes that aim to track the technology sector and thereby compete with the NASDAQ-100 Index and the NASDAQ Composite Index. We face competition from investment banks, dedicated index providers, markets and other product developers in designing products that meet investor needs.

 

Market Technology. The traditional model, where each exchange or exchange-related business developed its own technology internally sometimes aided by consultants, is evolving as many operators recognize the enormous cost savings made possible by buying technology already developed. Two types of competitors are emerging: other exchanges providing solutions, including NYSE Euronext and LSE, and pure technology providers focused on the exchange industry. These organizations offer a range of off-the-shelf technology including trading, clearing, settlement, depository and information dissemination. They also offer customization and operation expertise. NASDAQ OMX provides technology to over 70 exchanges and exchange-related businesses worldwide and in 2010 expanded its offering in compliance services by acquiring SMARTS.

 

Regulation

 

We are subject to extensive regulation in the United States and Europe.

 

U.S. Regulation

 

U.S. federal securities laws establish a two-tiered system for the regulation of securities markets, market participants and listed companies. The SEC occupies the first tier and has primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws. Self-Regulatory Organizations, or SROs, which are non-governmental organizations, occupy the second tier. SROs, such as national securities exchanges, are registered with the SEC and are subject to the SEC’s extensive regulation and oversight.

 

This regulatory framework applies to our U.S. business in the following ways:

 

   

regulation of our registered national securities exchanges; and

 

   

regulation of our U.S. broker-dealer subsidiaries.

 

The rules and regulations that apply to our business are focused primarily on safeguarding the integrity of the securities markets and of market participants and investors generally. These rules and regulations are not focused on the protection of our stockholders, although we believe that regulation improves the quality of exchanges and, therefore, our company. U.S. federal securities laws and the rules that govern our operations are subject to frequent change.

 

Regulation of U.S. Exchanges. SROs in the securities industry are an essential component of the regulatory scheme of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act, for providing fair and orderly markets and protecting investors. The Exchange Act and the rules thereunder impose on the SROs many regulatory and operational responsibilities, including the day-to-day responsibilities for market and broker-dealer oversight. In general, an SRO is responsible for regulating its members through the adoption and enforcement of rules and regulations governing the business conduct of its members.

 

With the registration of The NASDAQ Stock Market as a national securities exchange in 2006, we received our own SRO status through our exchange subsidiary, separate from that of FINRA. With the acquisitions of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the Boston Stock Exchange, we acquired additional SRO licenses. As SROs, each entity has separate rules pertaining to its broker-dealer members and listed companies. Broker-dealers that choose to become members of The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, and/or NASDAQ OMX BX are subject to the rules of those exchanges. Broker-dealers may also choose other SRO memberships, including membership in FINRA.

 

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All of our U.S. national securities exchanges are subject to SEC oversight, as prescribed by the Exchange Act, including periodic and special examinations by the SEC. Our exchanges also are potentially subject to regulatory or legal action by the SEC or other interested parties at any time in connection with alleged regulatory violations. We are also subject to Section 17 of the Exchange Act, which imposes record-keeping requirements, including the requirement to make records available to the SEC for examination. We have been subject to a number of routine reviews and inspections by the SEC or external auditors in the ordinary course and because of settlements with the SEC. To the extent such actions or reviews and inspections result in regulatory or other changes, we may be required to modify the manner in which we conduct our business, which may adversely affect our business.

 

Section 19 of the Exchange Act provides that our exchanges must submit to the SEC proposed changes to any of the SROs’ rules, practices and procedures, including revisions to provisions of our certificate of incorporation and by-laws that constitute SRO rules. The SEC will typically publish the proposal for public comment, following which the SEC may approve or disapprove the proposal, as it deems appropriate. The SEC’s action is designed to ensure that applicable SRO rules and procedures are consistent with the aims of the Exchange Act and its rules and regulations. In addition, pursuant to the requirements of the Exchange Act, our exchanges must file all proposals to change their pricing structure with the SEC.

 

NASDAQ OMX currently operates three cash equities and two options markets in the United States. We operate The NASDAQ Stock Market and The NASDAQ Options Market pursuant to The NASDAQ Stock Market’s SRO license; the NASDAQ OMX BX cash equities market pursuant to the NASDAQ OMX BX SRO license; and the NASDAQ OMX PSX cash equities market and the NASDAQ OMX PHLX options market pursuant to the NASDAQ OMX PHLX SRO license. In addition, NASDAQ OMX BX regulates the BOX Market, pursuant to a regulatory services agreement between a subsidiary of NASDAQ OMX BX and BOX. NASDAQ OMX does not have an ownership interest in BOX, and BOX compensates NASDAQ OMX BX based on the cost of the regulatory services provided to BOX.

 

FINRA provides regulatory services to the markets operated or regulated by The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX and NASDAQ OMX BX, including the regulation of trading activity and surveillance and investigative functions. We have a limited direct regulatory role in conducting real-time market monitoring, certain options surveillance, rulemaking and some membership functions through our MarketWatch department. We refer suspicious trading behavior discovered by our regulatory staff and all other employees of the markets operated or regulated by The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX and NASDAQ OMX BX to FINRA for further investigation.

 

Broker-dealer regulation. NASDAQ OMX’s broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to regulation by the SEC, the SROs and the various state securities regulators. Nasdaq Execution Services, LLC currently operates as our routing broker for sending orders from The Nasdaq Stock Market to other venues for execution. NASDAQ Options Services, LLC performs a comparable function with respect to routing of orders from The NASDAQ Options Market and NASDAQ OMX PHLX.

 

Nasdaq Execution Services is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC and in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is also a member of The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NYSE, NYSE Amex, NYSE Arca, FINRA, BATS Exchange, CBOE, Chicago Stock Exchange, ISE and the National Stock Exchange.

 

NASDAQ Options Services is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC and in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It is also a member of The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, FINRA, NYSE Amex, BOX, ISE, NYSE Arca, CBOE and BATS Exchange.

 

The SEC, NYSE and FINRA adopt rules and examine broker-dealers and require strict compliance with their rules and regulations. The SEC, SROs and state securities commissions may conduct administrative proceedings which can result in censures, fines, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the suspension or

 

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expulsion of a broker-dealer, its officers or employees. The SEC and state regulators may also institute proceedings against broker-dealers seeking an injunction or other sanction. The SEC and SRO rules cover many aspects of a broker-dealer’s business, including capital structure and withdrawals, sales methods, trade practices among broker-dealers, use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities, record-keeping, the financing of customers’ purchases, broker-dealer and employee registration and the conduct of directors, officers and employees. All broker-dealers have an SRO that is assigned by the SEC as the broker-dealer’s designated examining authority, or DEA. The DEA is responsible for examining a broker-dealer for compliance with the SEC’s financial responsibility rules. FINRA is the current DEA for both Nasdaq Execution Services and NASDAQ Options Services.

 

As registered broker-dealer subsidiaries, Nasdaq Execution Services and NASDAQ Options Services are subject to regulatory requirements intended to ensure their general financial soundness and liquidity, which requires that they comply with certain minimum capital requirements. The SEC and FINRA impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, dictate the ratio of debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. Additionally, the Uniform Net Capital Rule and FINRA rules impose certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC and FINRA for certain withdrawals of capital.

 

As of December 31, 2010, we were in compliance with all of such capital requirements.

 

Regulatory contractual relationships with FINRA. The NASDAQ Stock Market, The NASDAQ Options Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ OMX PSX and NASDAQ OMX BX have signed a series of regulatory service agreements covering the services FINRA provides to the respective SROs, including some of the regulatory services we perform for BOX. Under these agreements, FINRA personnel act as our agents in performing the regulatory functions outlined above, and FINRA bills us a fee for these services. These agreements have enabled us to reduce our headcount while ensuring that the markets for which we are responsible are properly regulated. However, our SROs retain ultimate regulatory responsibility for all regulatory activities performed under these agreements by FINRA. In addition, our options markets have entered into a joint agreement with the other options exchanges for conducting insider trading surveillance. Our SROs continue to monitor the activities conducted under the agreement and continue to have regulatory responsibility in this area.

 

Exchange Act Rule 17d-2 permits SROs to enter into agreements, commonly called Rule 17d-2 agreements, approved by the SEC with respect to enforcement of common rules relating to common members. Our SROs have entered into several such agreements under which we are relieved of regulatory responsibility:

 

   

agreements with FINRA covering the enforcement of common rules, the majority of which relate to the regulation of The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and the members of these exchanges;

 

   

joint industry agreements with FINRA and NYSE Regulation covering responsibility for enforcement of insider trading rules;

 

   

joint industry agreement with FINRA covering enforcement of rules related to cash equity sales practices and certain other non-market related rules; and

 

   

joint industry agreement covering enforcement of rules related to options sales practices.

 

Regulation NMS and Options Intermarket Linkage Plan. We are subject to Regulation NMS for our cash equities markets, and our options markets have joined the Options Intermarket Linkage Plan. These are designed to facilitate the routing of orders among exchanges to create a national market system as mandated by the Exchange Act. One of the principal purposes of a national market system is to assure that brokers may execute investors’ orders at the best market price. Both Regulation NMS and the Options Intermarket Linkage Plan require that exchanges avoid trade-throughs, locking or crossing of markets and provide market participants with electronic access to the best prices among the markets for the applicable cash equity or options order.

 

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CFTC Regulation. With the acquisition of PHLX, we also acquired its subsidiary, NASDAQ OMX Futures Exchange, Inc. (formerly the Philadelphia Board of Trade), a designated contract market under the Commodity Exchange Act. As a designated contract market, NFX is subject to regulatory oversight by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, an independent agency with the mandate to regulate commodity futures and option markets in the U.S. NFX currently lists futures contracts on stock indexes, foreign currencies and interest rate swaps. The National Futures Association, or NFA, provides certain regulatory services to NFX pursuant to a Regulatory Services Agreement. The CFTC also regulates IDCH, a derivatives clearing organization under the Commodity Exchange Act that is wholly owned by IDCG. IDCH clears interest rate swap futures contracts listed by NFX as well as interest rate swaps traded in the OTC market. NFA also provides regulatory services to IDCH.

 

European Regulation

 

Recent directives from the European Union have focused on harmonizing regulation with respect to financial services, listing and trading of securities and market abuse. Currently, there are proposals on regulation in relation to CCP services and OTC derivatives transactions. These are providing opportunities for companies such as ours. As the regulatory environment continues to change and related opportunities arise, we intend to use our position in the industry to continue product development, and ensure that the exchanges and clearinghouses that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic maintain favorable liquidity and offer efficient trading.

 

Confidence in capital markets is paramount for trading to function properly. NASDAQ OMX Nordic carries out market regulation through an independent unit that is separate from the business operations. The surveillance work is organized into two functions: one for the listing of instruments and surveillance of companies (issuer surveillance) and one for surveillance of trading (trading surveillance). The real-time trading surveillance for the Finnish, Icelandic, Danish and Swedish markets has been centralized to Stockholm. In Iceland, the surveillance activities are carried out by specially appointed persons. In addition, there are special personnel who carry out surveillance activities at each of the three Baltic exchanges. There are three surveillance committees at NASDAQ OMX Nordic, one at each NASDAQ OMX Nordic exchange in Sweden, Finland and Denmark. These committees have an advisory role in relation to surveillance matters. In Sweden and Finland, decisions to list new companies are made by the listing committees of the exchanges. In Denmark and Iceland, listing decisions are made by the President of the exchange, a duty delegated by the board of NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen and NASDAQ OMX Iceland, respectively.

 

If there is suspicion that a listed company or member has acted in breach of exchange regulations, the matter is dealt with by the market regulation division. Serious breaches are considered by the respective disciplinary committee in Sweden and Finland. In Denmark, all matters are dealt with by the surveillance department. In Iceland, enforcement committees handle all breaches of exchange regulations, while disciplinary committees handle the determination of fines. Suspected insider trading is reported to the appropriate authorities in the respective country or countries.

 

The entities that operate trading venues in the Nordic and Baltic countries are each subject to local regulation. In Sweden, general supervision of the exchange market operated by NASDAQ OMX Stockholm is carried out by the SFSA, while NASDAQ OMX Stockholm’s role as central counterparty in the clearing of derivatives is overseen by the SFSA and the Swedish central bank, Riksbanken. Additionally, as a function of the Swedish two-tier supervisory model, certain surveillance in relation to the exchange market is carried out by us, acting through our surveillance division.

 

NASDAQ OMX Stockholm’s exchange and clearing activities are regulated primarily by the Swedish Securities Markets Act 2007:528, or SSMA, which sets up basic requirements regarding the board of the exchange or clearinghouse and its share capital, and which also outlines the conditions on which exchange and clearing licenses are issued. The SSMA also provides that any changes to the exchange’s articles of association following initial registration must be approved by the SFSA.

 

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With respect to ongoing operations, the SSMA requires exchanges to conduct their activities in an “honest, fair and professional manner, and in such a way as to maintain public confidence in the securities markets.” When operating a regulated market, an exchange must apply the principles of free access (i.e., that each person which meets the requirements established by law and by the exchange may participate in trading), neutrality (i.e., that the exchange’s rules for the regulated market are applied in a consistent manner to all those who participate in trading) and transparency (i.e., that the participants must be given speedy, simultaneous and correct information concerning trading and that the general public must be given the opportunity to access this information). Additionally, the exchange operator must identify and manage the risks which may arise in its operations, use secure technical systems and identify and handle the conflicts of interest which may arise between the exchange or its owners’ interests and the interest in safeguarding effective risk management and secure technical systems. Similar requirements are set up by the SSMA in relation to clearing operations.

 

The SSMA also contains the framework for both the SFSA’s supervisory work in relation to exchanges and clearinghouses and the surveillance to be carried out by the exchanges themselves. The latter includes the requirement that an exchange should have “an independent surveillance function with sufficient resources and powers to meet the exchange’s obligations.” That requires the exchange to, among other things, supervise trading and price information, compliance with laws, regulations and good market practice, participant compliance with trading participation rules, financial instrument compliance with relevant listing rules and the extent to which issuers meet their obligation to submit regular financial information to relevant authorities.

 

The regulatory environment in the other Nordic and Baltic countries in which a NASDAQ OMX entity has a trading venue is broadly similar to the regulatory environment in Sweden. Since 2005, there has been a Memorandum of Understanding between the SFSA and the main supervisory authorities in Norway, Denmark and Finland, which looks to safeguard effective and comprehensive supervision of the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and the systems operated by it, and to ensure a common supervisory approach.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2010, NASDAQ OMX had 2,395 employees, including staff employed at consolidated entities where we have a controlling financial interest. Of the total employees, 1,313 were based in the U.S. and 1,082 were based outside of the U.S. None of our U.S. employees is subject to collective bargaining agreements or is represented by a union. Approximately 106 employees based in Denmark and Finland are covered by local union agreements.

 

NASDAQ OMX Website and Availability of SEC Filings

 

We file periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. The public may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC (such as us). The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov.

 

Our website is www.nasdaqomx.com. Information on our website is not a part of this Form 10-K. We will make available free of charge on our website, or provide a link to, our Forms 10-K, Forms 10-Q and Forms 8-K and any amendments to these documents, that are filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. To access these filings, go to NASDAQ OMX’s website and click on “Investor Relations,” then click on “Financial Information,” and then click on “SEC Filings.”

 

We use our website, www.nasdaqomx.com, as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial may also adversely affect our business. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, or operating results could be adversely affected.

 

Risks Relating to our Business

 

Our industry is highly competitive.

 

We face intense competition from other exchanges and markets for market share of trading activity and listings. In addition, our market data, global index and market technology businesses face significant competition from other market participants. This competition includes both product and price competition and has continued to increase as a result of the creation of new execution and listing venues in the United States and Europe. Increased competition may result in a decline in our share of trading activity, listings and the markets for the products we offer, thereby adversely affecting our operating results.

 

The liberalization and globalization of world markets has resulted in greater mobility of capital, greater international participation in local markets and more competition. As a result, both in the U.S. and in other countries, the competition among exchanges and other execution venues has become more intense. In the last several years, many marketplaces in both Europe and the United States have demutualized to provide greater flexibility for future growth. The securities industry also has experienced consolidation, creating a more intense competitive environment. Regulatory changes, such as MiFID, also have facilitated the entry of new participants in the EU that compete with our European exchanges. The regulatory environment, both in the U.S. and in Europe, is structured to maintain this environment of intense competition. In addition, a high proportion of business in the securities markets is becoming concentrated in a smaller number of institutions and our revenue may therefore become concentrated in a smaller number of customers.

 

We also compete globally with other regulated exchanges and markets, ATSs, MTFs and other traditional and non-traditional execution venues. Some of these competitors also are our customers. Our exchange competitors include NYSE Euronext, the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and a number of other exchanges in the U.S. and around the world. These exchanges offer a range of services comparable to those offered by our exchanges and generally compete with us in providing trade executions, trade reporting, market data, listings, regulation, index, and technology services. Public ATSs in the U.S. and MTFs in Europe are broker-dealer operated systems that offer trade execution services, typically at very low cost. Our competitors include Burgundy MTF in the Nordics. In London, Chi-X, Turquoise and BATS MTFs offer pan-European execution services in competition with our Nordic exchanges. Other competing execution venues include broker-dealer owned systems such as dark-pools and internalization engines which may or may not be registered as ATSs or MTFs. Like ATSs and MTFs, these venues also compete with us by offering low cost executions and differ from public ATSs and MTFs in the degree of transparency they offer and in restrictions on who may access these systems.

 

Competitors may develop market trading platforms that are more competitive than ours. Competitors may enter into strategic partnerships, mergers or acquisitions that could make their trading, listings or data businesses more competitive than ours. In early 2011, the London Stock Exchange Group and the TMX Group and NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse AG announced proposed mergers that may affect our competitive position. If we are unable to compete successfully in this environment, our business, financial condition and operating results will be adversely affected.

 

Price competition has affected and could continue to affect our business.

 

The securities trading industry is characterized by intense price competition. We have in the past lowered prices, and in the U.S., increased rebates for trade executions to attempt to gain or maintain market share. These strategies have not always been successful and have at times hurt operating performance. Additionally, we have

 

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also been, and may once again be, required to adjust pricing to respond to actions by competitors, which could adversely impact operating results. We are also subject to potential price competition from new competitors and from new and existing regulated markets and MTFs. We also compete with respect to the pricing of market data and with respect to products for pre-trade book data and for post-trade last sale data. In the future, our competitors may offer rebates for quotes and trades on their systems. If we are unable to compete successfully in respect to the pricing of our services and products, our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected.

 

A decline in trading volume will decrease our trading revenues.

 

Trading volume is directly affected by economic, political and market conditions, broad trends in business and finance, unforeseen market closures or other disruptions in trading, the level and volatility of interest rates, inflation, changes in price levels of securities and the overall level of investor confidence. In recent years, trading volumes across our markets have fluctuated significantly depending on market conditions and other factors beyond our control. Current initiatives being considered by regulators and governments, such as restrictions on high frequency trading, could have a material adverse effect on overall trading volumes. Because a significant percentage of our revenues is tied directly to the volume of securities traded on our markets, it is likely that a general decline in trading volumes would lower revenues and may adversely affect our operating results if we are unable to offset falling volumes through our pricing. Declines in trading volumes may also impact our market share or pricing structures and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

 

Our market share of trading has declined and may continue to decline.

 

Our matched market share in NASDAQ-listed securities executed on NASDAQ declined from 46.1% in 2007 to 28.6% in 2010 and our combined matched market share in all U.S.-listed securities executed on all of our platforms declined from 29.1% in 2007 to 22.2% in 2010. In addition, as a result of the adoption of MiFID, a number of MTFs have launched, thereby significantly increasing competition in Europe. As a result, our matched market share in securities listed on our exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic has declined from 100% in 2007 to 75% in 2010.

 

If our total market share in these securities continues to decrease relative to our competitors, our venues may be viewed as less attractive sources of liquidity. If growth in overall trading volume of these securities does not offset continued declines in our market share, or if our exchanges are perceived to be less liquid, then our business, financial condition and operating results could be adversely affected.

 

Declines in market share could result in issuers viewing the value of a listing on our exchanges as less attractive, thereby adversely affecting our listing business. Also, declines in market share of NASDAQ-listed securities could lower NASDAQ’s share of tape pool revenues under the consolidated data plans, thereby reducing the revenues of our market data business.

 

Economic conditions and market factors, which are beyond our control, may adversely affect our business and financial condition.

 

Our business performance is impacted by a number of factors including general economic conditions, market volatility, and other factors that are generally beyond our control. Although access to credit markets has improved recently, a long-term continuation of challenging economic conditions is likely to negatively impact our business. Adverse market conditions could reduce customer demand for our services and the ability of our customers, lenders and other counterparties to meet their obligations to us. Poor economic conditions may result in a decline in trading volume, deterioration of the economic welfare of our listed companies and a reduction in the demand for our products, including our market data, indexes and market technology. Market volatility such as that seen with the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010 could drive investors away from cash equity markets. Trading volume is driven primarily by general market conditions and declines in trading volume may affect our market share and impact our pricing.

 

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The number of listings on our markets is primarily influenced by factors such as investor demand, the global economy, available sources of financing, and tax and regulatory policies. Adverse conditions may jeopardize the ability of our listed companies to comply with the continued listing requirements of our exchanges.

 

Market data revenues also may be significantly affected by global economic conditions. Professional subscriptions to our market data are at risk if staff reductions occur in financial services companies, which could result in significant reductions in our market data professional user revenue. In addition, adverse market conditions may cause reductions in the number of non-professional investors with investments in the market.

 

A reduction in trading volumes, market share of trading, the number of our listed companies and a decline in market data revenue due to economic conditions or other market factors could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Declines in the initial public offering market could have an adverse effect on our revenues.

 

The market for initial public offerings is dependent on the prosperity of companies and the availability of risk capital, both of which have been severely tested in recent years. Stagnation or decline in the initial public offering market will impact the number of new listings on The NASDAQ Stock Market and the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic, and thus our related revenues. We recognize revenue from new listings on The NASDAQ Stock Market on a straight-line basis over an estimated six-year service period. As a result, a stagnant market for initial public offerings could cause a decrease in deferred revenues for future years. Furthermore, as initial public offerings are typically actively traded following their offering date, a prolonged decrease in the number of initial public offerings could negatively impact the growth of our transactions revenues.

 

System limitations, failures or security breaches could harm our business.

 

Our businesses depend on the integrity and performance of the computer and communications systems supporting them. If our systems cannot expand to cope with increased demand or otherwise fail to perform, we could experience unanticipated disruptions in service, slower response times and delays in the introduction of new products and services. These consequences could result in trade outages, lower trading volumes, financial losses, decreased customer service and satisfaction and regulatory sanctions. Our markets have experienced occasional systems failures and delays in the past and could experience future systems failures and delays.

 

Although we currently maintain and expect to maintain multiple computer facilities that are designed to provide redundancy and back-up to reduce the risk of system disruptions and have facilities in place that are expected to maintain service during a system disruption, such systems and facilities may prove inadequate. If trading volumes increase unexpectedly, we may need to expand and upgrade our technology, transaction processing systems and network infrastructure. We do not know whether we will be able to accurately project the rate, timing or cost of any increases, or expand and upgrade our systems and infrastructure to accommodate any increases in a timely manner.

 

Our systems and operations also are vulnerable to damage or interruption from security breaches, data theft, human error, natural disasters, power loss, fire, sabotage, terrorism, computer viruses, intentional acts of vandalism and similar events. Given our position in the global securities industry, we may be more likely than other companies to be a direct target, or an indirect casualty, of such events. In February 2011, we announced that through our normal security monitoring systems, we detected suspicious files on our U.S. servers. The files were immediately removed and at this point there is no evidence that any customer information was accessed or acquired by third parties.

 

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While we have programs in place to identify and minimize our exposure to vulnerabilities and work in collaboration with the technology industry to share corrective measures with our business partners, we cannot guarantee that such events will not occur in the future. Any system issue that causes an interruption in services, decreases the responsiveness of our services our otherwise affects our services could impair our reputation, damage our brand name and negatively impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Regulatory changes and changes in market structure, especially in response to adverse financial conditions, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

In recent years, the securities trading industry and, in particular, the securities markets have been subject to significant regulatory changes. Moreover, in the past two years, the securities markets have been the subject of increasing governmental and public scrutiny in response to the global economic crisis and market volatility, such as that seen with the regulation of short selling and the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010.

 

During the coming year, it is likely that there will be significant changes in the regulatory environment in which we operate our businesses, although we cannot predict the nature of these changes or their impact on our business at this time. For example, in January 2010, the SEC published a concept release covering a wide range of market structure issues, and on May 6, 2010, cash equity markets experienced record volatility, which resulted in accelerated SEC rulemaking. Both events could result in regulation that could significantly change the competitive landscape. The European Parliament has begun a review of MiFID that could affect our operations in Europe. In addition, actions on any of the specific regulatory issues currently under review in the U.S. and Europe such as short selling, co-location, high-frequency trading, market halts, the market data business, derivatives clearing, market transparency, taxes on stock transactions, restrictions on proprietary trading by certain of our customers and other related proposals could have a material impact on our business.

 

Our market participants also operate in a highly regulated industry. The SEC, the SFSA and other regulatory authorities could impose regulatory changes that could adversely impact the ability of our market participants to use our markets. Regulatory changes by the SEC, the SFSA or other regulatory authorities could result in the loss of a significant number of market participants or a reduction in trading activity on our markets.

 

We will need to invest in our operations to maintain and grow our business and to integrate acquisitions, and we may need additional funds, which may not be readily available.

 

We depend on the availability of adequate capital to maintain and develop our business. Although we believe that we can meet our current capital requirements from internally generated funds, cash on hand and available borrowings under our existing credit facilities, if the capital and credit markets experience volatility, access to capital or credit may not be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. Limited access to capital or credit in the future could have an impact on our ability to refinance debt, maintain our credit rating, meet our regulatory capital requirements, engage in strategic initiatives, make acquisitions or strategic investments in other companies or react to changing economic and business conditions. If we are unable to fund our capital or credit requirements, it could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

In addition to our debt obligations, we will need to continue to invest in our operations for the foreseeable future to integrate acquired businesses and to fund new initiatives. If we do not achieve the expected operating results, we will need to reallocate our cash resources. This may include borrowing additional funds to service debt payments, which may impair our ability to make investments in our business or to integrate acquired businesses.

 

Should we need to raise funds through issuing additional equity, our equity holders will suffer dilution. Should we need to raise funds through incurring additional debt, we may become subject to covenants even more restrictive than those contained in our existing credit facilities, the indentures governing our notes and our other debt instruments. Furthermore, if adverse economic conditions occur, we could experience decreased revenues from our operations which could affect our ability to satisfy financial and other restrictive covenants to which we are subject under our existing indebtedness.

 

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Any reduction in our credit rating could increase the cost of our funding from the capital markets.

 

Our long-term debt is currently rated investment grade by two of the major rating agencies. These rating agencies regularly evaluate us and their ratings of our long-term debt are based on a number of factors, including our financial strength as well as factors not entirely within our control, including conditions affecting the financial services industry generally. There can be no assurance that we will maintain our current ratings. Our failure to maintain those ratings could adversely affect the cost and other terms upon which we are able to obtain funding and increase our cost of capital. A reduction in credit ratings would also result in increases in the cost of our outstanding debt as the interest rate on the outstanding amounts under our term loans and our 5.25% senior notes due 2018 fluctuates based on our credit ratings.

 

We may not be able to keep up with rapid technological and other competitive changes affecting our industry.

 

The markets in which we compete are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, frequent enhancements to existing products and services, the adoption of new services and products and changing customer demands. If our platforms fail to function as expected, our business would be negatively affected. In addition, our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected if we cannot successfully develop, introduce or market new services and products or if we need to adopt costly and customized technology for our services and products. Further, our failure to anticipate or respond adequately to changes in technology and customer preferences, especially in our market technology business, or any significant delays in product development efforts, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

We may not be able to successfully integrate acquired businesses, which may result in an inability to realize the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions.

 

We must rationalize, coordinate and integrate the operations of acquired businesses. This process involves complex technological, operational and personnel-related challenges, which are time-consuming and expensive and may disrupt our business. The difficulties, costs and delays that could be encountered may include:

 

   

unforeseen difficulties, costs or complications in combining the companies’ operations, which could lead to us not achieving the synergies we anticipate;

 

   

unanticipated incompatibility of systems and operating methods;

 

   

inability to use capital assets efficiently to develop the business of the combined company;

 

   

the difficulty of complying with government-imposed regulations in the U.S. and abroad, which may be conflicting;

 

   

resolving possible inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies, business cultures and compensation structures;

 

   

the diversion of management’s attention from ongoing business concerns and other strategic opportunities;

 

   

unforeseen difficulties in operating acquired businesses in parallel with similar businesses that we operated previously;

 

   

unforeseen difficulties in operating businesses we have not operated before;

 

   

unanticipated difficulty of integrating multiple acquired businesses simultaneously;

 

   

the retention of key employees and management;

 

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the implementation of disclosure controls, internal controls and financial reporting systems at non-U.S. subsidiaries to enable us to comply with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or U.S. GAAP, and U.S. securities laws and regulations, including the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, required as a result of our status as a reporting company under the Exchange Act;

 

   

the coordination of geographically separate organizations;

 

   

the coordination and consolidation of ongoing and future research and development efforts;

 

   

possible tax costs or inefficiencies associated with integrating the operations of a combined company;

 

   

pre-tax restructuring and revenue investment costs;

 

   

the retention of strategic partners and attracting new strategic partners; and

 

   

negative impacts on employee morale and performance as a result of job changes and reassignments.

 

For these reasons, we may not achieve the anticipated financial and strategic benefits from our acquisitions. Any actual cost savings and synergies may be lower than we expect and may take a longer time to achieve than we anticipate, and we may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions.

 

We may experience fluctuations in our operating results, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

The financial services industry is risky and unpredictable and is directly affected by many national and international factors beyond our control, including:

 

   

economic, political and geopolitical market conditions;

 

   

natural disasters, terrorism, war or other catastrophes;

 

   

broad trends in industry and finance;

 

   

changes in price levels and volatility in the stock markets;

 

   

the level and volatility of interest rates;

 

   

changes in government monetary or tax policy;

 

   

other legislative and regulatory changes;

 

   

the perceived attractiveness of the U.S. or European capital markets; and

 

   

inflation.

 

Any one of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results by causing a substantial decline in the financial services markets and reducing trading volumes.

 

Additionally, since borrowings under our credit facilities bear interest at variable rates, any increase in interest rates on debt that we have not fixed using interest rate hedges will increase our interest expense and reduce our cash flow. Other than variable rate debt, we believe our business has relatively large fixed costs and low variable costs, which magnifies the impact of revenue fluctuations on our operating results. As a result, a decline in our revenue may lead to a relatively larger impact on operating results. A substantial portion of our operating expenses will be related to personnel costs, regulation and corporate overhead, none of which can be adjusted quickly and some of which cannot be adjusted at all. Our operating expense levels will be based on our expectations for future revenue. If actual revenue is below management’s expectations, or if our expenses increase before revenues do, both revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees and operating results would be materially and adversely affected. Because of these factors, it is possible that our operating results or other operating metrics may fail to meet the expectations of stock market analysts and investors. If this happens, the market price of our common stock may be adversely affected.

 

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We are exposed to credit risk from third parties, including customers, counterparties and clearing agents.

 

We are exposed to credit risk from third parties, including customers, counterparties and clearing agents. These parties may default on their obligations to us due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure or other reasons.

 

We clear or stand as riskless principal to a range of equity-related and fixed-income-related derivative products, energy-related commodity products and resale and repurchase agreements. We assume the counterparty risk for all transactions that are cleared through our markets and guarantee that our cleared contracts will be honored. We enforce minimum financial and operational criteria for membership eligibility, require members and investors to provide collateral, and maintain established risk policies and procedures to ensure that the counterparty risks are properly monitored and pro-actively managed; however, none of these measures provides absolute assurance against experiencing financial losses from defaults by our counterparties on their obligations. No guarantee can be given that the collateral provided will at all times be sufficient. Although we maintain clearing capital resources to serve as an additional layer of protection to help ensure that we are able to meet our obligations, these resources may not be sufficient.

 

Our subsidiaries Nasdaq Execution Services and NASDAQ Options Services may be exposed to credit risk, due to the default of trading counterparties, in connection with the clearing and routing services they provide for our trading customers. System trades in cash equities routed to other market centers for members of The NASDAQ Stock Market are cleared by Nasdaq Execution Services, as a member of the National Securities Clearing Corporation, or NSCC. System trades in derivative contracts for the opening and closing cross and trades routed to other market centers are cleared by NASDAQ Options Services, as a member of the OCC. Pursuant to the rules of the NSCC and Nasdaq Execution Services’ clearing agreement, Nasdaq Execution Services is liable for any losses incurred due to counterparty or a clearing agent’s failure to satisfy its contractual obligations, either by making payment or delivering securities. Pursuant to the rules of the OCC and NASDAQ Options Services’ clearing agreement, NASDAQ Options Services is liable for any losses incurred due to counterparty or a clearing agent’s failure to satisfy its contractual obligations, either by making payment or delivering securities. Adverse movements in the prices of securities and derivative contracts that are subject to these transactions can increase our credit risk. Credit difficulties or insolvency, or the perceived possibility of credit difficulties or insolvency, of one or more larger or visible market participants could also result in market-wide credit difficulties or other market disruptions.

 

We also have credit risk related to transaction fees that are billed to customers on a monthly basis, in arrears. Our customers are financial institutions whose ability to satisfy their contractual obligations may be impacted by volatile securities markets.

 

Credit losses such as those described above could adversely affect our consolidated financial position and results of operations.

 

Our leverage limits our financial flexibility, increases our exposure to weakening economic conditions and may adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing.

 

In connection with recent acquisitions and share repurchases, we incurred a significant amount of indebtedness. Our indebtedness as of December 31, 2010 was approximately $2.3 billion. We also may borrow up to an additional $250 million under a revolver that is part of our credit facilities.

 

Our leverage could:

 

   

reduce funds available to us for operations and general corporate purposes or for capital expenditures as a result of the dedication of a substantial portion of our consolidated cash flow from operations to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness;

 

   

increase our exposure to a continued downturn in general economic conditions;

 

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place us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our competitors with less debt; and

 

   

affect our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for refinancing indebtedness, acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures or other purposes.

 

In addition, we must comply with the covenants in our credit facilities. Among other things, these covenants restrict our ability to grant liens, incur additional indebtedness, pay dividends and conduct transactions with affiliates. Failure to meet any of the covenant terms of our credit facilities could result in an event of default. If an event of default occurs, and we are unable to receive a waiver of default, our lenders may increase our borrowing costs, restrict our ability to obtain additional borrowings and accelerate all amounts outstanding.

 

We may incur goodwill, intangible asset or other long-lived asset impairment charges in the future.

 

Our business acquisitions typically result in the recording of goodwill and intangible assets, and the recorded values of those assets may become impaired in the future. As of December 31, 2010, goodwill totaled approximately $5.1 billion and intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization, totaled approximately $1.7 billion. The determination of the value of such goodwill and intangible assets requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect our consolidated financial statements. Goodwill for our three reporting units are reviewed for impairment annually, or in interim periods if certain events occur indicating that the carrying value may be impaired. We test for impairment during the fourth quarter of our fiscal year using October 1 st carrying values. We assess potential impairments to goodwill and intangible assets when there is evidence that events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recovered. Considerable management judgment is necessary to evaluate the impact of operating and macroeconomic changes and to estimate cash flow. Our judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators and future cash flows related to goodwill and intangible assets are based on operational performance of our acquired businesses, market conditions, relevant trading multiples of comparable companies, the trading price of our common stock and other factors. Although there are inherent uncertainties in this assessment process, the estimates and assumptions we use are consistent with our internal planning. However, disruptions to our business, such as economic weakness and unexpected significant declines in operating results of reporting units, may result in our having to perform a goodwill impairment test for some or all of our reporting units prior to the required annual assessment. These types of events and the resulting analysis could result in goodwill or intangible asset impairment charges in the future. For goodwill, if the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss is recorded to the extent that the fair value of the goodwill is less than the carrying value. For indefinite-lived intangible assets, impairment exists if the carrying value of the intangible asset exceeds its fair value.

 

We also assess potential impairments to our other long-lived assets, including finite-lived intangible assets, equity method investments, property and equipment and other assets, when there is evidence that events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recovered. An impairment loss is recognized when the carrying amount of the long-lived asset exceeds its fair value and is not recoverable. The carrying amount of a long-lived asset is not recoverable if it exceeds the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset. Any required impairment loss is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of a long-lived asset exceeds its fair value and is recorded as a reduction in the carrying value of the related asset and a charge to operating results.

 

If we incur goodwill, intangible asset or other long-lived asset impairment charges in the future our operating results could be adversely affected.

 

The regulatory framework under which we operate and new regulatory requirements or new interpretations of existing regulatory requirements could require substantial time and resources for compliance, which could make it difficult and costly for us to operate our business.

 

Our business is subject to extensive regulation. Under current U.S. federal securities laws, changes in the rules and operations of our markets, including our pricing structure, must be reviewed and in many cases

 

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explicitly approved by the SEC. The SEC may approve, disapprove, or recommend changes to proposals that we submit. In addition, the SEC may delay either the approval process or the initiation of the public comment process. Any delay in approving changes, or the altering of any proposed change, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. We must compete not only with ATSs that are not subject to the same SEC approval process but also with other exchanges that may have lower regulation and surveillance costs than us. There is a risk that trading will shift to exchanges that charge lower fees because, among other reasons, they spend significantly less on regulation.

 

In addition, our registered broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to regulation by the SEC, FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations. These subsidiaries are subject to regulatory requirements intended to ensure their general financial soundness and liquidity, which require that they comply with certain minimum capital requirements. The SEC and FINRA impose rules that require notification when a broker-dealer’s net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, dictate the ratio of debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. Additionally, the Uniform Net Capital Rule and NYSE and FINRA rules impose certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC, the NYSE and FINRA for certain withdrawals of capital. Any failure to comply with these broker-dealer regulations could have a material adverse effect on the operation of our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Our non-U.S. business is subject to regulatory oversight in all the countries in which we operate regulated businesses, such as exchanges or CSDs. The countries in which we currently operate or share ownership in regulated businesses include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Armenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In all the aforementioned countries, we have received authorization from the relevant authorities to conduct our regulated business activities. The authorities may revoke this authorization if we do not suitably carry out our regulated business activities. The authorities are also entitled to request that we adopt measures in order to ensure that we continue to fulfill the authorities’ requirements.

 

Furthermore, we hold minority stakes in other regulated entities, and certain of our customers operate in a highly regulated industry. Regulatory authorities with jurisdiction over our non-U.S. entities could impose regulatory changes that could impact the ability of our customers to use our European exchanges. The loss of a significant number of customers or a reduction in trading activity on any of our European exchanges as a result of such changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Our business may be impacted by the adoption and implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

On July 21, 2010, the President signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Act, a comprehensive banking and financial services reform package. Full implementation of the Act will require extensive rulemaking by the SEC, the CFTC, SROs and other regulators. In light of the uncertainty of the final implementation of the Act, there is a risk that the final regulations could include provisions that could impact our business.

 

The Act provides for central clearing of standardized over-the-counter swaps and requires cleared swaps to be traded on exchanges or swap execution facilities. While these new requirements may provide new opportunities for us, including the opportunity to expand the business of IDCG, our existing offering to clear over-the-counter interest rate swap products, other market participants have developed, and likely will develop in the future, competing clearing platforms and offerings. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to compete effectively or that our initiatives in this area will be successful.

 

In addition, market participants may change their behavior in response to the Act and the expected regulations. For example, the Act’s prohibitions on proprietary trading and certain relationships with hedge funds and private equity funds may cause some of our major clients to curtail or eliminate their trading operations in

 

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advance of the effective date. To the extent that our existing customers and other market participants reduce the levels or restrict the nature of activity on our exchanges, our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected. Furthermore, if the Act or any of the pending regulations are perceived as creating new burdensome legal and regulatory requirements on public companies in the U.S., it may decrease our ability to compete for listings with competitor exchanges in non-U.S. jurisdictions.

 

We have self-regulatory obligations and also operate for-profit businesses, and these two roles may create conflicts of interest.

 

We have obligations to regulate and monitor activities on our markets and ensure compliance with applicable law and the rules of our markets by market participants and listed companies. In the U.S., the SEC staff has expressed concern about potential conflicts of interest of “for-profit” markets performing the regulatory functions of a self-regulatory organization. Although our U.S. cash equities and options exchanges outsource the majority of their market regulation functions to FINRA, we do perform regulatory functions related to our listed companies and our markets. Any failure by us to diligently and fairly regulate our markets or to otherwise fulfill our regulatory obligations could significantly harm our reputation, prompt SEC scrutiny and adversely affect our business and reputation.

 

Our Nordic and Baltic exchanges also monitor trading and compliance with listing standards. They monitor the listing of cash equities and other financial instruments. The prime objective of such monitoring activities is to promote confidence in the exchanges among the general public and to ensure fair and orderly functioning markets. The monitoring functions within the exchanges comprising NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic are the responsibility of the surveillance departments or other surveillance personnel. The surveillance departments or personnel are intended to strengthen the integrity of and confidence in these exchanges and to avoid conflicts of interest. Any failure to diligently and fairly regulate the Nordic and Baltic exchanges could significantly harm our reputation, prompt scrutiny from regulators and adversely affect our business and reputation.

 

We are subject to risks relating to litigation, potential securities law liability and other liability.

 

Many aspects of our business potentially involve substantial liability risks. Although we are immune from private suits for self-regulatory organization activities, this immunity only covers certain of our activities in the U.S., and we could be exposed to liability under national and local laws, court decisions and rules and regulations promulgated by regulatory agencies.

 

In the U.S., we are subject to oversight by the SEC, and our subsidiaries NFX and IDCH are subject to oversight by the CFTC. Our subsidiary NOCC has applied to register with the CFTC and is regulated as a power marketer by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (for transactions in every state but Texas) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (for transactions in Texas). In the case of non-compliance with our obligations under the securities, commodities or other laws, we could be subject to investigation and judicial or administrative proceedings that may result in substantial penalties.

 

Our non-U.S. business is regulated both at the national level in several countries and at the European Union level. Implementation and application of these regulations may be undertaken by one or more regulatory authorities, which may challenge compliance with one or more aspects of such regulations. If a regulatory authority makes a finding of non-compliance, conditional fines can be imposed and our licenses can be revoked.

 

Some of our other liability risks arise under the laws and regulations relating to the insurance, tax, intellectual property, anti-money laundering, technology export, foreign asset controls and foreign corrupt practices areas. Liability could also result from disputes over the terms of a trade, claims that a system failure or delay cost a customer money, claims we entered into an unauthorized transaction or claims that we provided

 

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materially false or misleading statements in connection with a securities transaction. As we intend to defend any such litigation actively, significant legal expenses could be incurred. Although we carry insurance that may limit our risk of damages in some cases, we still may sustain losses that would affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Failure to attract and retain key personnel may adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.

 

Our future success depends, in large part, upon our ability to attract and retain highly qualified professional personnel. Competition for key personnel in the various localities and business segments in which we operate is intense. Our ability to attract and retain key personnel, in particular senior officers, will be dependent on a number of factors, including prevailing market conditions and compensation packages offered by companies competing for the same talent. There is no guarantee that we will have the continued service of key employees who we rely upon to execute our business strategy and identify and pursue strategic opportunities and initiatives. In particular, we may have to incur costs to replace senior officers or other key employees who leave, and our ability to execute our business strategy could be impaired if we are unable to replace such persons in a timely manner.

 

We are highly dependent on the continued services of Robert Greifeld, our Chief Executive Officer, and other senior officers and key employees who possess extensive financial markets knowledge and technology skills. We do not have employment agreements with some of these key senior officers. We do not maintain “key person” life insurance policies on any of our senior officers, managers, key employees or technical personnel. The loss of the services of these persons for any reason, as well as any negative market or industry perception arising from those losses, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Failure to protect our intellectual property rights, or allegations that we have infringed on the intellectual property rights of others, could harm our brand-building efforts and ability to compete effectively.

 

To protect our intellectual property rights, we rely on a combination of trademark laws, copyright laws, patent laws, trade secret protection, confidentiality agreements and other contractual arrangements with our affiliates, clients, strategic partners and others. The protective steps that we take may be inadequate to deter misappropriation of our proprietary information. We may be unable to detect the unauthorized use of, or take appropriate steps to enforce, our intellectual property rights.

 

We have registered, or applied to register, our trademarks in the United States and in over 50 foreign jurisdictions and have pending U.S. and foreign applications for other trademarks. We also maintain copyright protection on our branded materials and pursue patent protection for software products, inventions and other processes developed by us. We also hold a number of patents, patent applications and licenses. Effective trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret protection may not be available in every country in which we offer our services. Failure to protect our intellectual property adequately could harm our brand and affect our ability to compete effectively. Further, defending our intellectual property rights could result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources.

 

Third parties may assert intellectual property rights claims against us, which may be costly to defend, could require the payment of damages and could limit our ability to use certain technologies, trademarks or other intellectual property. Any intellectual property claims, with or without merit, could be expensive to litigate or settle and could divert management resources and attention. Successful challenges against us could require us to modify or discontinue our use of technology or business processes where such use is found to infringe or violate the rights of others, or require us to purchase licenses from third parties, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

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Damage to our reputation or brand name could have a material adverse effect on our businesses.

 

One of our competitive strengths is our strong reputation and brand name. Various issues may give rise to reputational risk, including issues relating to:

 

   

the representation of our business in the media;

 

   

the accuracy of our financial statements and other financial and statistical information;

 

   

the accuracy of our financial guidance or other information provided to our investors;

 

   

the quality of our corporate governance structure;

 

   

the quality of our products, including the reliability of our transaction-based business, the accuracy of the quote and trade information provided by our market data business and the accuracy of calculations used by our Global Index Group for indexes and unit investment trusts;

 

   

the ability to execute our business plan, key initiatives or new business ventures and the ability to keep up with changing customer demand;

 

   

the quality of our disclosure controls or internal controls over financial reporting, including any failures in supervision;

 

   

extreme price volatility on our markets, such as that seen with the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010;

 

   

any negative publicity surrounding our listed companies; and

 

   

any misconduct, fraudulent activity or theft by our employees or other persons formerly or currently associated with us.

 

Damage to our reputation could cause some issuers not to list their securities on our exchanges, as well as reduce the trading volume on our exchanges or cause us to lose customers in our market data, index or market technology businesses. This, in turn, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

We rely on third parties to perform certain functions, and our business could be adversely affected if these third parties fail to perform as expected.

 

We rely on third parties for regulatory, data center and other services. For example, we have a contractual arrangement with FINRA pursuant to which FINRA performs certain regulatory functions on our behalf. We also are highly reliant on third-party data centers provided by Verizon. To the extent that FINRA, Verizon or any other vendor or third-party service provider experiences difficulties, materially changes their business relationship with us or is unable for any reason to perform their obligations, our business or our reputation may be materially adversely affected.

 

We also rely on members of our trading community to maintain markets and add liquidity. To the extent that any of our largest members experiences difficulties, materially changes their business relationship with us or is unable for any reason to perform market making activities, our business or our reputation may be materially adversely affected.

 

We are a holding company that depends on cash flow from our subsidiaries to meet our obligations, and any restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

We are a holding company with no direct operating businesses other than the equity interests of our subsidiaries. We require dividends and other payments from our subsidiaries to meet cash requirements or to pay dividends. Minimum capital requirements mandated by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction over some of

 

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our regulated subsidiaries indirectly restrict the amount of dividends paid upstream. If our subsidiaries are unable to pay dividends and make other payments to us when needed, we may be unable to satisfy our obligations, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Future acquisitions, investments, partnerships and joint ventures may require significant resources and/or result in significant unanticipated losses, costs or liabilities.

 

Over the past several years, acquisitions have been significant factors in our growth. Although we cannot predict our rate of growth as the result of acquisitions with complete accuracy, we believe that additional acquisitions and investments or entering into partnerships and joint ventures will be important to our growth strategy. Many of the other potential purchasers of assets in our industry have greater financial resources than we have. Therefore, we cannot be sure that we will be able to complete future acquisitions on terms favorable to us.

 

We may finance future acquisitions by issuing additional equity and/or debt. The issuance of additional equity in connection with any such transaction could be substantially dilutive to existing shareholders. The issuance of additional debt could increase our leverage substantially. In addition, announcement or implementation of future transactions by us or others could have a material effect on the price of our common stock. We could face financial risks associated with incurring additional debt, particularly if the debt results in significant incremental leverage. Additional debt may reduce our liquidity, curtail our access to financing markets, impact our standing with credit agencies and increase the cash flow required for debt service. Any incremental debt incurred to finance an acquisition could also place significant constraints on the operation of our business.

 

Furthermore, any future acquisitions of businesses or facilities could entail a number of additional risks, including:

 

   

problems with effective integration of operations;

 

   

the inability to maintain key pre-acquisition business relationships;

 

   

increased operating costs;

 

   

the diversion of our management team from its other operations;

 

   

problems with regulatory bodies;

 

   

exposure to unanticipated liabilities;

 

   

difficulties in realizing projected efficiencies, synergies and cost savings; and

 

   

changes in our credit rating and financing costs.

 

Our non-U.S. business operates in various international markets, particularly emerging markets, that are subject to greater political, economic and social uncertainties than developed countries.

 

The operations of our non-U.S. business are subject to the risk inherent in international operations, including but not limited to, risks with respect to operating in Iceland, the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Some of these economies may be subject to greater political, economic and social uncertainties than countries with more developed institutional structures. Political, economic or social events or developments in one or more of these countries could adversely affect our operations and financial results.

 

We have invested substantial capital in system platforms, and a failure to successfully implement such systems could adversely affect our business.

 

In our technology operations, we have invested substantial amounts in the development of system platforms and in the rollout of our platforms. Although investments are carefully planned, there can be no assurance that the demand for such platforms will justify the related investments and that the future levels of transactions

 

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executed on these platforms will be sufficient to generate an acceptable return on such investments. If we fail to generate adequate revenue from planned system platforms, or if we fail to do so within the envisioned timeframe, it could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Because we have operations in several countries, we are exposed to currency risk.

 

We have operations in the U.S., the Nordic and Baltic countries, Australia and many other foreign countries. We therefore have significant exposure to exchange rate movements between the Euro, Swedish Krona, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Australian dollar and other foreign currencies towards the U.S. dollar. Significant inflation or disproportionate changes in foreign exchange rates with respect to one or more of these currencies could occur as a result of general economic conditions, acts of war or terrorism, changes in governmental monetary or tax policy or changes in local interest rates. These exchange rate differences will affect the translation of our non-U.S. results of operations and financial condition into U.S. dollars as part of the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.

 

Charges to earnings resulting from acquisition, restructuring and integration costs may materially adversely affect the market value of our common stock.

 

In accordance with U.S. GAAP, we are accounting for the completion of our acquisitions using the purchase method of accounting. We are allocating the total estimated purchase prices to net tangible assets, amortizable intangible assets and indefinite-lived intangibles, and based on their fair values as of the date of completion of the acquisitions, recording the excess of the purchase price over those fair values as goodwill. Our financial results, including earnings per share, or EPS, could be adversely affected by a number of financial adjustments required by U.S. GAAP including the following:

 

   

we will incur additional amortization expense over the estimated useful lives of certain of the intangible assets acquired in connection with acquisitions during such estimated useful lives;

 

   

we may have additional depreciation expense as a result of recording purchased tangible assets at fair value, in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as compared to book value as recorded;

 

   

to the extent the value of goodwill or intangible assets becomes impaired, we may be required to incur material charges relating to the impairment of those assets; and

 

   

we will incur certain adjustments to reflect the financial condition and operating results under U.S. GAAP and U.S. dollars.

 

Risks Relating to an Investment in Our Common Stock

 

Volatility in our stock price could adversely affect our stockholders.

 

The market price of our common stock is likely to be volatile. Broad market and industry factors may adversely affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. Factors that could cause fluctuations in our stock price may include, among other things:

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results;

 

   

changes in financial estimates by us or by any securities analysts who might cover our common stock;

 

   

conditions or trends in our industry, including trading volumes, regulatory changes or changes in the securities marketplace;

 

   

conditions or trends in the credit markets;

 

   

announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships or divestitures;

 

   

announcements of investigations or regulatory scrutiny of our operations or lawsuits filed against us;

 

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additions or departures of key personnel; and

 

   

sales of our common stock, including sales of our common stock by our directors and officers, significant stockholders or our strategic investors.

 

The market price of our common stock could be negatively affected by sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets.

 

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public markets, or the perception that these sales might occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline or could impair our ability to raise capital through a future sale of, or pay for acquisitions using, our equity securities. As of December 31, 2010, there were 175,782,683 shares of our common stock outstanding. All of our common stock is freely transferable, except shares held by our “affiliates,” as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act.

 

The number of freely transferable shares of our common stock will increase upon any exercise of outstanding options pursuant to our stock compensation and stock award plan for our employees. There were 6.1 million options exercisable as of December 31, 2010 at a weighted average exercise price of $13.19.

 

It is our intent and policy to settle the principal amounts of our 2.50% convertible notes in cash, which will not impact the number of shares of our common stock. However, we have the option to settle the conversion premium in shares of our common stock or cash. The conversion rate will initially be 18.1386 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes, which is equivalent to a conversion price of $55.13 per share of common stock.

 

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation, by-laws, exchange rules (including provisions included to address SEC concerns) and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change in control of us and entrench current management.

 

Our organizational documents place restrictions on the voting rights of certain stockholders. The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters to be voted upon by the stockholders except that no person may exercise voting rights in respect of any shares in excess of 5% of the then outstanding shares of our common stock. Any change to the 5% voting limitation would require SEC approval.

 

In response to the SEC’s concern about a concentration of our ownership, the rules of our U.S. exchanges include a rule prohibiting any member or any person associated with a member of the exchange from beneficially owning more than 20% of our outstanding voting interests. SEC consent would be required before any investor could obtain more than a 20% voting interest in us. The rules of our U.S. exchanges also require the SEC’s approval of any business ventures with one of our members, subject to exceptions.

 

Our organizational documents contain provisions that may be deemed to have an anti-takeover effect and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control of us, such as a tender offer or takeover proposal that might result in a premium over the market price for our common stock. Additionally, certain of these provisions make it more difficult to bring about a change in the composition of our board of directors, which could result in entrenchment of current management.

 

Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws:

 

   

require supermajority stockholder approval to remove directors;

 

   

do not permit stockholders to act by written consent or to call special meetings;

 

   

require certain advance notice for director nominations and actions to be taken at annual meetings;

 

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require supermajority stockholder approval with respect to certain amendments to our certificate of incorporation and by-laws (including in respect of the provisions set forth above); and

 

   

authorize the issuance of undesignated preferred stock, or “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our board of directors without stockholder approval.

 

Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law imposes restrictions on mergers and other business combinations between us and any holder of 15% or more (or, in some cases, a holder who previously held 15% or more) of our common stock. In general, Delaware law prohibits a publicly held corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for three years after the stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the corporation’s board of directors and stockholders approve the business combination in a prescribed manner.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

 

None.

 

Item 2. Proper ties.

 

The following is a description of our principal properties.

 

Location

 

Use

  Size
(approximate,
in square feet)
   

Type of possession

New York, New York

  Location of MarketSite     38,000      Lease

New York, New York

  U.S. headquarters     115,000      Subleased from FINRA with 17,931 square feet leased back to FINRA

New York, New York

  General office space     53,000      Subleased to third parties

New York, New York

  General office space     48,000      Lease

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  Location of NASDAQ OMX PHLX     147,000      Lease

Rockville, Maryland

  General office space     78,000      Lease

Shelton, Connecticut

  General office space     29,000      Lease

Stockholm, Sweden

  European headquarters     366,000      Lease

London, England

  General office space     71,000      Lease

Helsinki, Finland

  General office space     20,000      Lease

Copenhagen, Denmark

  General office space     29,000      Lease

 

We also maintain local headquarters in each of the other European countries where we operate an exchange and office space in countries in which we conduct sales and operations, including Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Estonia, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.

 

In addition to the above, we currently lease administrative, sales and disaster preparedness facilities in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington, DC.

 

Generally, our properties are not earmarked for use by a particular segment; instead, most of our properties are used by two or more segments. We believe the facilities we occupy are adequate for the purposes for which they are currently used and are well-maintained. As of December 31, 2010, approximately 200,000 square feet of space was available for sublease.

 

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Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

 

We are not currently a party to any litigation that we believe could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operating results. However, from time to time, we have been threatened with, or named as a defendant in, lawsuits or involved in regulatory proceedings.

 

Item 4. ( Removed and Reserved).

 

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Part II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

 

Market Information

 

Our common stock has been listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market (formerly The Nasdaq National Market) since February 10, 2005, under the ticker symbol “NDAQ.” From July 1, 2002 through February 9, 2005, our common stock traded on the OTCBB under the symbol “NDAQ.”

 

The following chart lists the quarterly high and low sales prices for shares of our common stock for fiscal years 2010 and 2009. These prices are between dealers and do not include retail markups, markdowns or other fees and commissions and may not represent actual transactions.

 

     High      Low  

Fiscal 2010

     

Fourth quarter

   $ 24.34       $ 19.07   

Third quarter

     20.54         17.18   

Second quarter

     23.11         17.54   

First quarter

     21.33         17.87   

Fiscal 2009

     

Fourth quarter

   $ 21.02       $ 17.63   

Third quarter

     23.24         18.71   

Second quarter

     22.93         17.51   

First quarter

     27.39         18.35   

 

As of February 10, 2011, we had approximately 880 holders of record of our common stock. As of February 10, 2011, the closing price of our common stock was $27.82. Our credit facilities limit our ability to pay dividends. Before our credit facilities were in place, it was not our policy to declare or pay cash dividends on our common stock.

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Share Repurchase Program

 

During 2010, our board of directors approved a share repurchase program authorizing NASDAQ OMX to repurchase in the aggregate up to $797 million of our outstanding common stock which includes the authorization for the repurchase of our common stock from Borse Dubai, discussed below. Prior to our share repurchase from Borse Dubai, during the first nine months of 2010, we repurchased 15,050,647 shares of our common stock at an average price of $19.95 with an aggregate purchase price of $300 million.

 

In December 2010, we purchased 22,781,000 shares of our common stock from Borse Dubai for $21.82 per share with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $497 million. This share purchase from Borse Dubai expanded, accelerated and completed the purchase of our shares pursuant to our previously announced share repurchase program.

 

Employee Transactions

 

In addition to our share repurchase program, during the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2010 we also purchased shares from employees in connection with the settlement of income tax and related benefit withholding obligations arising from vesting in restricted stock grants.

 

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The table below represents repurchases made by or on behalf of us or any “affiliated purchaser” of our common stock during the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2010:

 

Period

   (a) Total
Number  of
Shares
Purchased
     (b) Average
Price Paid
Per Share
     (c) Total Number of
Shares
Purchased as Part
of Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs
     (d) Maximum Dollar
Value of Shares
that May Yet  Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
(in millions)
 

October 2010

           

Share repurchase program

     —         $ —           —         $   250   

Employee transactions

     2,118       $ 19.76         N/A         N/A   

November 2010

           

Share repurchase program

     —         $ —           —         $ 250   

Employee transactions

     170       $ 21.54         N/A         N/A   

December 2010

           

Share repurchase program

     22,781,000       $ 21.82        22,781,000      $   —     

Employee transactions

     126,212       $ 22.71         N/A         N/A   
                             

Total Fiscal Quarter Ended December 31, 2010

           

Share repurchase program

     22,781,000       $ 21.82         22,781,000       $   —     
                             

Employee transactions

     128,500       $ 22.66         N/A         N/A   
                             

 

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PERFORMANCE GRAPH

 

The following graph compares the total return of our common stock with certain indices and a peer group. These include the NASDAQ Composite Stock Index and the Standard & Poor’s, or S&P, 500 Stock Index as well as the peer group. The peer group includes the CME Group Inc., Deutsche Börse AG, Intercontinental Exchange Inc., LSE, and NYSE Euronext. Information for the indices and the peer group is provided from December 31, 2005 through December 31, 2010. The figures represented below assume an initial investment of $100 in the common stock or index at the closing price on December 31, 2005 and the reinvestment of all dividends.

 

LOGO

 

     12/05      12/06      12/07      12/08      12/09      12/10  

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

     100.00         87.52         140.68         70.24         56.34         67.45   

NASDAQ Composite

     100.00         111.74         124.67         73.77         107.12         125.93   

S&P 500

     100.00         115.80         122.16         76.96         97.33         111.99   

Peer Group

     100.00         174.16         270.69         89.99         121.79         121.67   

 

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Item 6. S elected Financial Data.

 

On February 27, 2008, Nasdaq and OMX AB combined their businesses and Nasdaq was renamed The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Under the purchase method of accounting, Nasdaq was treated as the accounting and legal acquirer in the business combination with OMX AB. We also completed our acquisitions of PHLX in July 2008, BSX in August 2008, certain businesses of Nord Pool in October 2008, the assets of North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp. in March 2010, Nord Pool in May 2010, SMARTS in August 2010, as well as FTEN and ZVM in December 2010. These acquisitions also have been treated as purchases for accounting purposes, with NASDAQ OMX treated as the acquirer. Additionally, we purchased a majority stake in IDCG in December 2008 and a 22% equity interest in EMCF in January 2009. The financial results of these transactions are included in the consolidated financial results beginning on the date of each acquisition or strategic initiative.

 

The following table sets forth selected financial data on a historical basis for NASDAQ OMX. The following information should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto of NASDAQ OMX included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

    Year Ended December 31,  
  2010     2009     2008     2007     2006  
  (in millions, except share and per share amounts)  

Statements of Income Data:

         

Total revenues (1)

  $ 3,197      $ 3,411      $ 3,650      $ 2,436      $ 1,658   

Cost of revenues (1)

    (1,675     (1,958     (2,190     (1,624     (971
                                       

Revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

    1,522        1,453        1,460        812        687   

Total operating expenses

    891        850        820        447        467   

Operating income

    631        603        640        365        220   

Net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX

    395        266        314        518        128   

Net income applicable to common stockholders

    394        266        314        518        127   

Basic and diluted earnings per share:

         

Basic earnings per share

  $ 1.94      $ 1.30      $ 1.65      $ 4.47      $ 1.22   
                                       

Diluted earnings per share

  $ 1.91      $ 1.25      $ 1.55      $ 3.46      $ 0.95   
                                       

Weighted-average common shares outstanding for earnings per share:

         

Basic

    202,975,623        204,698,277        190,362,605        116,064,240        104,311,040   

Diluted

    206,514,655        214,537,907        204,514,862        152,528,691        144,228,855   
    December 31,  
    2010     2009     2008     2007     2006  
    (in millions)  

Balance Sheets Data:

         

Cash and cash equivalents and financial investments (3)

  $ 568      $ 902      $ 601      $ 1,325      $ 1,950   

Total assets (2)

    16,207        10,722        12,752        2,979        3,716   

Total long-term liabilities (3)

    3,247        2,909        3,372        360        1,798   

Total equity

    4,729        4,944        4,303        2,208        1,457   

 

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(1)

We record execution revenues from transactions on a gross basis in revenues and record related expenses as cost of revenues.

(2)

At December 31, 2010, total assets included resale agreements, at contract value of $3.4 billion. In September 2010, we launched a clearing service for the resale and repurchase agreement market. See “Resale and Repurchase Agreements, at Contract Value,” of Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

(3)

At December 31, 2006, cash and cash equivalents and financial investments included our investment in shares of LSE. Unrealized gains and losses, including foreign currency gains, were included in accumulated other comprehensive income until the sale of the shares in September 2007. On September 25, 2007, we completed the sale of shares at that time representing 28.0% of the share capital of LSE to Borse Dubai for $1.6 billion in cash. We sold the remaining substantial balance of our holdings in LSE in open market transactions for approximately $194 million in cash on September 26, 2007 for total proceeds of $1.8 billion. As a result of the sale, we recognized a $431 million pre-tax gain which is net of $18 million of costs directly related to the sale, primarily broker fees. On September 28, 2007, we used approximately $1.1 billion of the proceeds from the above transactions to repay in full and terminate our former credit facilities.

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

You should read the following discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of NASDAQ OMX in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Form 10-K, as well as the discussion under “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

 

Overview

 

We are a leading global exchange group that delivers trading, clearing, exchange technology, securities listing, and public company services across six continents. Our global offerings are diverse and include trading and clearing across multiple asset classes, market data products, financial indexes, capital formation solutions, financial services and market technology products and services. Our technology powers markets across the globe, supporting cash equity trading, derivatives trading, clearing, settlement and many other functions.

 

On February 27, 2008, Nasdaq and OMX AB combined their businesses and Nasdaq was renamed The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Under the purchase method of accounting, Nasdaq was treated as the accounting and legal acquirer in the business combination with OMX AB. We also completed our acquisitions of PHLX in July 2008, BSX in August 2008, certain businesses of Nord Pool in October 2008, the assets of North American Energy Credit and Clearing Corp. in March 2010, Nord Pool in May 2010, SMARTS in August 2010, as well as FTEN and ZVM in December 2010. These acquisitions also have been treated as purchases for accounting purposes, with NASDAQ OMX treated as the acquirer. Additionally, we purchased a majority stake in IDCG in December 2008 and a 22% equity interest in EMCF in January 2009. The financial results of these transactions are included in the consolidated financial results beginning on the date of each acquisition or strategic initiative.

 

Financial Highlights

 

The comparability of our operating results for the year ended December 31, 2009 to the same period in 2008 is significantly impacted by our business combination with OMX AB as well as the acquisition of PHLX and the acquisition of Nord Pool’s derivatives, clearing and consulting subsidiaries. In our discussion and analysis of results of operations, we have quantified the contribution of additional revenues or expenses resulting from the operations of OMX, NASDAQ OMX PHLX and NASDAQ OMX Commodities wherever such amounts were material. While identified amounts may provide indications of general trends, the analysis cannot completely address the effects attributable to integration efforts.

 

In addition, fluctuations in the value of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar impacted our operating results. Impacts associated with fluctuations in foreign currency are discussed in more detail under “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.” For the year ended December 31, 2010, approximately 33.9% of our revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees and 26.4% of our operating income were derived in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, primarily the Swedish Krona, Euro, Norwegian Krone and Danish Krone.

 

In countries with currencies other than the U.S. dollar, revenues and expenses are translated using monthly average exchange rates. The following discussion of results of operations isolates the impact of year-over-year foreign currency fluctuations to better measure the comparability of operating results between periods. Operating results excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations are calculated by translating the current year’s results by the prior period’s exchange rates.

 

The following summarizes significant changes in our financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2010 when compared with the same period in 2009:

 

   

Revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees increased $69 million, or 4.7%, to $1,522 million in 2010, compared with $1,453 million in 2009, reflecting an operational increase in revenues of $52 million and a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $17 million. The increase in operational revenues was primarily due to:

 

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an increase in total derivative trading and clearing revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $38 million;

 

   

an increase in access services revenues of $29 million;

 

   

an increase in total cash equity revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $9 million;

 

   

an increase in global index group revenues of $8 million; and

 

   

an increase in global listings services revenues of $6 million, partially offset by;

 

   

a decrease in broker service revenues of $18 million;

 

   

a decrease in market data revenues of $13 million;

 

   

a decrease in other market services revenues of $5 million; and

 

   

a decrease in market technology revenues of $1 million.

 

   

Operating expenses increased $41 million, or 4.8%, to $891 million in 2010, compared with $850 million in 2009, reflecting an increase in operating expenses of $27 million and an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $14 million. The operational increase in operating expenses was primarily due to an increase in general, administrative and other expense of $29 million primarily due to a pre-tax charge of $40 million incurred in January 2010 as a result of the repayment of our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009, partially offset by asset retirements of $10 million in 2009 related to obsolete technology assets.

 

   

Loss on divestiture of businesses was $11 million in 2010. This charge was due to our decision to close the businesses of both NEURO and Agora-X during the second quarter of 2010.

 

   

Net income from unconsolidated investees was $2 million in 2010, compared with a net loss of $107 million in 2009. The net loss for 2009 is primarily due to $87 million of impairment charges ($82 million on our NASDAQ Dubai investment and $5 million on our Agora-X investment), as well as a $19 million loss related to the sale of our share capital in Orc Software AB, or Orc.

 

   

Gain on sales of businesses was $12 million in 2009 and was related to the sale of substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business for a gain of $7 million and the sale of our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom for a gain of $5 million.

 

   

Debt conversion expense was $25 million in 2009 and was related to the conversion of most of our 3.75% convertible notes into common stock. The $25 million expense included a cash inducement of $9 million, the then present value of series A convertible preferred stock issued totaling $15 million, and debt issuance and other costs of $1 million.

 

These current and prior year items are discussed in more detail below.

 

Business Environment

 

We serve listed companies, market participants and investors by providing high quality cash equity, derivative and commodities markets, thereby facilitating economic growth and corporate entrepreneurship. We also provide market technology to exchanges and markets around the world. In broad terms, our business performance is impacted by a number of drivers including macroeconomic events affecting the risk and return of financial assets, investor sentiment, government and private sector demands for capital, the regulatory environment for capital markets, and changing technology in the financial services industry. Our future revenues and net income will continue to be influenced by a number of domestic and international economic trends including:

 

   

Trading volumes, particularly in U.S. and Nordic cash equity and derivative securities, which are driven primarily by overall macroeconomic conditions;

 

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The number of companies seeking equity financing, which is affected by factors such as investor demand, the global economy, availability of diverse sources of financing as well as tax and regulatory policies;

 

   

The emergence of new market participants seeking opportunities in the recovering global economy;

 

   

The steady optimism of our technology customers about the outlook for capital markets and economic stability;

 

   

Continuing pressure in transaction fee pricing due to intense competition in the U.S. and Europe;

 

   

Competition for listings and trading related to pricing, product features and service offerings;

 

   

Regulatory changes imposed upon certain types of instruments, transactions, or capital market participants; and

 

   

Technological advancements and members’ demand for speed, efficiency, and reliability.

 

Currently our business drivers are defined by investors’ cautious outlook about the pace of global economic recovery, and governments’ ability to fund their sovereign debt. The lack of confidence in the prospects for growth results in sporadic increases in the level of market volatility and lackluster trading volume. Additional impacts on our business drivers include the international enactment and implementation of new legislative and regulatory initiatives, and the continued rapid evolution and deployment of new technology in the financial services industry. The business environment that influenced our financial performance for the full year 2010 may be characterized as follows:

 

   

A considerable increase in the pace of new equity issuance relative to a historically slow 2009 in the U.S. with 89 IPOs on The NASDAQ Stock Market, up from 33 in 2009. IPO activity also increased in the Nordics with 11 IPOs on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic;

 

   

Matched share volume for all our U.S. markets decreased 16.2% relative to 2009 driven by a significant decline in overall U.S. volume and a modest decline in our market share;

 

   

A 34.1% increase relative to 2009 in the number of cash equity transactions on our Nordic and Baltic exchanges driven by increased levels of participant trading as participants increasingly adopt algorithmic trading;

 

   

A 1.6% increase relative to 2009 in the SEK value of cash equity transactions on our Nordic and Baltic exchanges resulting from increased volume levels and higher 12-month equity valuations;

 

   

Growth of 30.1% experienced by our Nordic and Baltic exchanges relative to 2009 in the number of traded and cleared equity and fixed-income contracts (excluding EDX and Eurex) driven by an increase in the number of derivative exchange members and increased market share in competitively listed products;

 

   

Intense competition among U.S. exchanges for both cash equity trading volume and listings, and strong competition between multilateral trading facilities and exchanges in Europe for equity trading volume;

 

   

Globalization of exchanges, customers and competitors extending the competitive horizon beyond national markets; and

 

   

Market trends requiring continued investment in technology to meet customers’ demands for speed, capacity, and reliability as markets adapt to a global financial industry, as increasing numbers of new companies are created, and as emerging countries show ongoing interest in developing their financial markets.

 

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2011 Outlook

 

We launched several strategic initiatives during 2010 which should benefit us during the challenging economic environment anticipated for 2011. For the third year in a row, more share value traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market than on any other single cash equities exchange in the world. Our platform continues to stand out as a reliable, flexible, and high capacity system delivering high levels of execution quality and speed under even extremely demanding market conditions. We continued to expand the application of our U.S. INET trading system with the successful launch of a new cash equities trading platform, NASDAQ OMX PSX, in 2010. The NASDAQ OMX PSX model prioritizes trading according to price and order size, thereby offering an exchange alternative to institutional and block traders. The standout performance and flexibility of our technology has enabled us to enter new markets with a low cost and highly regarded platform offering strong performance to both existing and new clients and creating additional sales opportunities for both our Transactions Services and Market Data businesses.

 

Our 2009 experiences with launching INET technology on our U.S. exchanges continued in 2010 with the NASDAQ OMX PSX cash equities market. Internationally, we developed and launched Genium INET for the NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic exchanges. By using NASDAQ OMX high performance systems in our major exchanges, the flexibility of INET and Genium INET technology has been demonstrated in both the U.S. and in Europe. The Australian Stock Exchange became our first Genium INET customer in late 2010 and we anticipate that the Singapore Stock Exchange will introduce their Genium INET based platform during 2011.

 

We expect global markets to continue to be marked by significant change in 2011. These changes will be driven primarily by regulatory initiatives in the U.S. and Europe as legislation created in the aftermath of the financial crisis is implemented and as the industry reacts to those initiatives. We expect that cash equities markets will continue to fragment into additional venues and trading will continue to migrate from exchanges to OTC systems. Conversely, trading in OTC derivatives will begin to move onto exchanges and other public execution facilities. Our investment in IDCG creates an opportunity for entering the clearing business for interest rate swap products.

 

Throughout 2010 there were signs of a recovery in the IPO market and we expect the demand for public equity capital from companies experiencing the return of global economic growth to support further increases in the number of IPOs. Furthermore, an improved outlook for equity investments and the number of private companies seeking capital is expected to add to the IPO pipeline in 2011. We continue to leverage the opportunities in market data brought about by the breadth of NASDAQ OMX’s data distribution capabilities by offering new data products to our customer base and by strengthening our direct relationships with those customers.

 

We believe that the year ahead will be positive for our business drivers and our operations as the global economy slowly recovers. We believe that our aggressive steps in meeting our cost, revenue, and technology objectives over the last three years will enable us to benefit from improving economic conditions in 2011. We will continue to look for opportunities to further diversify our business with enhanced product offerings and/or acquisitions that are complementary to our existing businesses.

 

Business Segments

 

We manage, operate and provide our products and services in three business segments: Market Services, Issuer Services and Market Technology.

 

   

The Market Services segment includes our U.S. and European Transaction Services businesses and our Market Data business, which are interrelated because the Transaction Services businesses generate the quote and trade information that we sell to market participants and data distributors. Market Services also includes our Broker Services business.

 

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The Issuer Services segment includes our Global Listing Services and the Global Index Group businesses. The companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, our Nordic and Baltic exchanges and NASDAQ OMX First North represent a diverse array of industries. This diversity of companies listed on NASDAQ OMX markets allows us to develop industry-specific and other indexes that we use to develop and license NASDAQ OMX branded indexes, associated derivatives and index products as part of our Global Index Group. The Global Listing Services business also includes our Corporate Solutions business.

 

   

The Market Technology segment delivers technology and services to marketplaces, brokers and regulators throughout the world. Market Technology provides technology solutions for trading, clearing, settlement, and information dissemination, and also offers facility management integration, surveillance solutions and advisory services.

 

Our management allocates resources, assesses performance and manages these businesses as three separate segments. See Note 18, “Segments,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

 

Sources of Revenues and Cost of Revenues

 

Market Services Revenues

 

Transaction Services

 

U.S. Cash Equity Trading

 

U.S. cash equity trading revenues are variable, based on individual customer share volumes, and recognized as transactions occur. We charge transaction fees for executing cash equity trades in NASDAQ-listed and other listed securities on The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX as well as on orders that are routed to other market venues for execution.

 

For The NASDAQ Stock Market and NASDAQ OMX PSX we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant that provides the liquidity and for NASDAQ OMX BX we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant that takes the liquidity. We record these credits as transaction rebates which are included in cost of revenues in the Consolidated Statements of Income. These transaction rebates are paid on a monthly basis and the amounts due are included in accounts payable and accrued expenses in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Also, we pay Section 31 fees to the SEC for supervision and regulation of securities markets. We pass these costs along to our customers through our cash equity trading fees. We collect the fees as a pass-through charge from organizations executing eligible trades on NASDAQ’s, NASDAQ OMX BX’s and NASDAQ OMX PSX’s platforms and we recognize these amounts in cost of revenues when invoiced. Section 31 fees received are included in cash and cash equivalents in the Consolidated Balance Sheets at the time of receipt and, as required by law, the amount due to the SEC is remitted semiannually and recorded as Section 31 fees payable to the SEC in the Consolidated Balance Sheets until paid. Since the amount recorded in revenues is equal to the amount recorded in cost of revenues, there is no impact on our revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees. As we hold the cash received until payment to the SEC, we earn interest income on the related cash balances.

 

European Cash Equity Trading

 

We charge transaction fees for executing trades on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic. The transaction fee for executing trades on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic is charged per executed order and as per value traded.

 

U.S. Derivative Trading and Clearing

 

U.S. derivative trading and clearing revenues are variable, based on traded and cleared volumes, and recognized when executed or when contacts are cleared. The principal types of derivative contracts traded on

 

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NASDAQ OMX PHLX and The NASDAQ Options Market are equity options, ETF options, index options and currency options. In the U.S., we also operate NFX, which offers trading for currency futures and other financial futures.

 

Similar to U.S. cash equity trading, we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant that provides the liquidity and record the transaction rebate as a cost of revenues in the Consolidated Statements of Income. Also, we pay Section 31 fees to the SEC for supervision and regulation of securities markets. See “U.S. Cash Equity Trading” above for further discussion.

 

Through NOCC, we engage in riskless principal trading of OTC power and gas contracts. Revenues are based on notional amounts or volume of power and gas transacted and/or delivered and are recognized upon settlement of the contracts.

 

European Derivative Trading and Clearing

 

European derivative trading and clearing revenues are also variable, based on the volume of traded and cleared contracts, and recognized when executed or when contracts are cleared. Derivative trading and clearing is conducted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen. The principal types of derivative contracts traded are stock options and futures, index options and futures, fixed-income options and futures and stock loans. On NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, we offer clearing services for fixed-income options and futures, stock options and futures and index options and futures, by serving as the CCP. In doing so, we guarantee the completion of the transaction and market participants can thereby limit their counterparty risk. We also act as the counterparty for certain OTC contracts.

 

On NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, we also offer clearing services for resale and repurchase agreements. Clearing revenues for resale and repurchase agreements are based on the value and length of the contract and are recognized when cleared.

 

European derivative trading and clearing revenues also include clearing revenues for commodities. NASDAQ OMX Commodities provides access to the world’s largest power derivatives markets and one of Europe’s largest carbon markets. NASDAQ OMX Commodities offers international power derivatives and carbon products, operates a clearing business and offers consulting services to commodities markets globally. Our clearing revenues from trading transactions on Nord Pool are variable, based on cleared volume, and recognized when contracts are cleared. We also generate clearing revenues for contracts traded on the OTC derivative market which are also recognized when contracts are cleared. In addition, European derivatives revenues include annual renewal fees. Each January, NASDAQ OMX Commodities members are billed an annual fee which is recognized ratably over the following 12-month period.

 

Access Services

 

We generate revenues by providing market participants with several alternatives for accessing our markets for a fee. The type of connectivity is determined by the level of functionality a customer needs. As a result, access services revenues vary depending on the type of connection provided to customers. We provide co-location services to market participants whereby firms may lease space for equipment within our data center. These participants are charged monthly fees for cabinet space, connectivity and support. We also earn revenues from annual and monthly exchange membership and registration fees. Revenues for providing access to our markets, co-location services and revenues for monthly exchange membership and registration fees are recognized on a monthly basis as the service is provided. Revenues from annual fees for exchange membership and registration fees are recognized ratably over the following 12-month period.

 

Market Data

 

Market Data revenues are earned from U.S. tape plans and U.S. and European proprietary market data products.

 

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Net U.S. Tape Plans

 

Revenues from U.S. tape plans include eligible UTP Plan revenues which are shared among UTP Plan participants. Under the revenue sharing provision of the UTP Plan, we are permitted to deduct costs associated with acting as the exclusive Securities Information Processor from the total amount of tape fees collected. After these costs are deducted from the tape fees, we distribute to the respective UTP Plan participants, including The NASDAQ Stock Market, NASDAQ OMX BX and NASDAQ OMX PSX, their share of tape revenues based on a formula, required by Regulation NMS that takes into account both trading and quoting activity. In addition, all quotes and trades in NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities are reported and disseminated in real time, and as such, we share in the tape revenues for information on NYSE- and NYSE Amex-listed securities. Revenues from net U.S. tape plans are recognized on a monthly basis.

 

U.S. Market Data Products

 

We collect, process and create information and earn revenues as a distributor of our own data, as well as select third-party content. We provide varying levels of quote and trade information to market participants and to data distributors, who in turn sell subscriptions for this information. We earn revenues primarily based on the number of data subscribers and distributors of our data. U.S. Market Data revenues are recognized on a monthly basis. These revenues, which are subscription based, are recorded net of amounts due under revenue sharing arrangements with market participants.

 

European Market Data Products

 

European Market Data revenues are based on the trading information from the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic, NASDAQ OMX Baltic and NASDAQ OMX Commodities for four classes of securities: cash equities, bonds, derivatives and commodities. We provide varying levels of quote and trade information to market participants and to data distributors, who in turn provide subscriptions for this information. Revenues from European market data are subscription-based, are generated primarily based on the number of data subscribers and distributors of our data and are recognized on a monthly basis.

 

Broker Services

 

Our Broker Services operations offer technology and customized securities administration solutions to financial participants in the Nordic market. The primary services offered are flexible back-office systems. Our services allow customers to entirely or partly outsource their company’s back-office functions. Revenues from broker services are based on a fixed basic fee for administration or licensing, maintenance and operations, and a variable portion that depends on the number of transactions completed. Broker Services revenues are recognized on a continuous basis as services are rendered.

 

In November 2009, we sold our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom to TD Waterhouse and recorded a gain of $5 million which is included in gain on sales of businesses in the Consolidated Statements of Income for the year ended December 31, 2009. The sale of our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom will not have a material impact on our future consolidated results of operations.

 

Issuer Services Revenues

 

Global Listing Services

 

Listing Services revenues in the U.S. include annual renewal fees, listing of additional shares fees and initial listing fees. Annual renewal fees are recognized ratably over the following 12-month period. Listing of additional shares fees and initial listing fees are recognized on a straight-line basis over estimated service periods, which are four and six years, respectively, based on our historical listing experience and projected future listing duration. European listing fees, which are comprised of revenues derived from annual fees received from companies listed

 

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on our Nordic and Baltic exchanges and NASDAQ OMX First North, are directly related to the listed companies’ market capitalization on a trailing 12-month basis. These revenues are recognized ratably over the following 12-month period.

 

Global Listing Services revenues also include fees from Corporate Solutions. Our Corporate Solutions business provides customer support services, products and programs to companies, including companies listed on our exchanges. Revenues primarily include subscription income from Shareholder.com and Directors Desk, fees from GlobeNewswire and revenues from Corporate Solutions Nordic. Prior to October 2009, Corporate Solutions revenues also included commission income from our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business. In October 2009, we sold substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business and recorded a gain of $7 million, which is included in gain on sales of businesses in the Consolidated Statements of Income for the year ended December 31, 2009. The sale of our Carpenter Moore business will not have a material impact on our future consolidated results of operations.

 

Fee income for services other than placement of insurance coverage is recognized as those services are provided. Shareholder.com revenues are based on subscription agreements with customers. Revenues from subscription agreements are recognized ratably over the contract period, generally one year in length. As part of subscription services, customers also are charged usage fees based upon actual usage of the services provided. Revenues from usage fees and other services are recognized when earned. Directors Desk revenues are based on subscriptions for online services for directors. Subscriptions are one year in length and revenues are recognized ratably over the year. GlobeNewswire generates fees primarily from wire distribution services, and revenues are recognized as services are provided. For our insurance agency business, commission income was recognized when coverage became effective, the premium due under the policy was known or could be reasonably estimated, and substantially all required services related to placing the insurance had been provided. Broker commission adjustments and commissions on premiums billed directly by underwriters were recognized when such amounts could be reasonably estimated.

 

Global Index Group

 

We develop and license NASDAQ OMX branded indexes, associated derivatives and financial products as part of our Global Index Group. Revenues primarily include license fees from these branded indexes, associated derivatives and financial products in the U.S. and abroad. We also generate revenues by licensing and listing third-party structured products and third-party sponsored ETFs. We primarily have two types of license agreements: transaction-based licenses and asset-based licenses. Transaction-based licenses are generally renewable long-term agreements. Customers are charged based on transaction volume or a minimum contract amount, or both. If a customer is charged based on transaction volume, we recognize revenue when the transaction occurs. If a customer is charged based on a minimum contract amount, we recognize revenue on a pro-rata basis over the licensing term. Asset-based licenses also are generally long-term agreements. Customers are charged based on a percentage of assets under management for licensed products, per the agreement, on a monthly or quarterly basis. These revenues are recorded on a monthly or quarterly basis over the term of the license agreement.

 

Market Technology Revenues

 

The Market Technology segment delivers technology and services to marketplaces, brokers and regulators throughout the world. Market Technology provides technology solutions for trading, clearing, settlement, and information dissemination, and also offers facility management integration, surveillance solutions and advisory services.

 

Revenues are derived from the following primary sources: licensing, support and facility management revenues, delivery project revenues, as well as change request, advisory and broker surveillance revenues.

 

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We enter into multiple-element sales arrangements to provide technology solutions and services to our customers. In order to recognize revenues associated with each individual element of a multiple-element sales arrangement separately, we are required to establish the existence of Vendor Specific Objective Evidence, or VSOE, of fair value for each element. When VSOE for individual elements of an arrangement cannot be established, revenue is generally deferred and recognized over either the final element of the arrangement or the entire term of the arrangement for which the services will be delivered.

 

License and support revenues are derived from the system solutions developed and sold by NASDAQ OMX that are generally entered into in multiple-element sales arrangements. After we have developed and sold a system solution, the customer licenses the right to use the software and may require post contract support and other services. Facility management revenues are also generally entered into in multiple-element sales arrangements and are derived when NASDAQ OMX assumes responsibility for the continuous operation of a system platform for a customer and receives facility management revenues which can be both fixed and volume-based. Revenues for license, support and facility management services are generally deferred and recognized over either the final element of the arrangement or the entire term of the arrangement for which the services will be delivered. We record the deferral of revenue associated with multiple-element sales arrangements in deferred revenue and non-current deferred revenue and the deferral of costs in other current assets and other assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

Delivery project revenues are derived from the installation phase of the system solutions developed and sold by NASDAQ OMX. The majority of our delivery projects involve individual adaptations to the specific requirements of the customer, such as those relating to functionality and capacity. We may customize our software technology and make significant modifications to the software to meet the needs of our customers, and as such, we account for these arrangements under contract accounting. Under contract accounting, when VSOE for valuing certain elements of an arrangement cannot be established, total revenues, as well as costs incurred, are deferred until the customization and significant modifications are complete and are then recognized over the post contract support period. We record the deferral of this revenue in deferred revenue and non-current deferred revenue and the deferral of costs in other current assets and other assets in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

Change request revenues include customer specific adaptations and modifications of the system solution sold by NASDAQ OMX after delivery has occurred. Change request revenues are recognized in revenue when earned. Advisory services are designed to support our customers’ strategies and help them with critical decisions in a highly demanding business environment. Advisory services revenues are recognized in revenue when earned. Broker surveillance revenues are derived from surveillance solutions targeting brokers and regulators throughout the world. Broker surveillance revenues are subscription based and are recognized in revenue when earned.

 

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NASDAQ OMX’s Operating Results

 

Key Drivers

 

The following table includes key drivers for our Market Services, Issuer Services, and Market Technology segments. In evaluating the performance of our business, our senior management closely watches these key drivers.

 

    Year Ended December 31,  
  2010     2009     2008  

Market Services

     

Cash Equity Trading

     

NASDAQ securities

     

Average daily share volume (in billions)

    2.19        2.24        2.28   

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ

    28.6     33.0     43.2

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ OMX BX

    2.9     1.4     —     

Market share reported to the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility (1)

    35.5     36.6     22.6

Total market share (2)

    67.1     71.0     65.8

NYSE securities

     

Average daily share volume (in billions)

    4.83        5.64        5.06   

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ

    13.7     15.7     22.2

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ OMX BX

    3.6     1.9     —     

Market share reported to the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility (1)

    31.3     32.1     19.3

Total market share (2)

    48.7     49.6     41.5

NYSE Amex and regional securities

     

Average daily share volume (in billions)

    1.45        1.89        1.49   

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ

    20.7     24.4     35.1

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ OMX BX

    3.1     1.4     —     

Market share reported to the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility (1)

    28.7     32.1     16.2

Total market share (2)

    52.6     57.9     51.4

Total U.S.-listed equities

     

Average daily share volume (in billions)

    8.47        9.77        8.83   

Matched share volume (in billions)

    475.0        566.6        665.9   

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ

    18.8     21.3     29.8

Matched market share executed on NASDAQ OMX BX

    3.3     1.7     —     

NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic

     

Average daily number of equity trades

     284,840         212,465         213,481   

Average daily value of shares traded (in billions)

  $ 3.3      $ 3.1      $ 5.0   

Derivative Trading and Clearing

     

U.S. Equity Options

     

Average daily volume (in millions)

    14.3        13.4        13.0   

NASDAQ OMX PHLX matched market share

    23.4     17.9     16.4

The NASDAQ Options Market matched market share

    4.0     3.1     1.0

NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic

     

Average Daily Volume:

     

Options, futures and fixed-income contracts

    428,523        329,350        418,773   

Nordic equity option contracts traded on EDX (3)

    —          95,374        153,686   

Finnish option contracts traded on Eurex

    117,450        77,312        73,870   

NASDAQ OMX Commodities

     

Clearing Turnover:

     

Power contracts (TWh) (4)

    2,090        2,136        409   

Carbon contracts (1000 tCO2) (4)

    31,500        45,765        13,261   

 

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    Year Ended December 31,  
  2010     2009     2008  

Issuer Services

     

Initial public offerings:

     

NASDAQ

    89        33        26   

Exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic

    11        1        17   

New listings:

     

NASDAQ (5)

    195        131        177   

Exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic (6)

    25        12        28   

Number of listed companies:

     

NASDAQ (7)

     2,778         2,852         3,023   

Exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic (8)

    780        797        824   

Market Technology

     

Order intake (in millions) (9)

  $ 160      $ 204      $ 229   

Total order value (in millions) (10)

  $ 495      $ 417      $ 359   

 

(1)

Transactions reported to the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility.

(2)

Includes transactions executed on NASDAQ’s, NASDAQ OMX BX’s and NASDAQ OMX PSX’s systems plus trades reported through the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility.

(3)

In December 2009, derivative volume was transferred to NASDAQ OMX from EDX.

(4)

Transactions executed on Nord Pool and reported for clearing to NASDAQ OMX Commodities measured by Terawatt hours (TWh) and one thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide (1000 tCO2).

(5)

New listings include IPOs, including those completed on a best efforts basis, issuers that switched from other listing venues, closed-end funds and separately listed ETFs.

(6)

New listings include IPOs and represent companies listed on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic and companies on the alternative markets, NASDAQ OMX First North.

(7)

Number of listed companies for NASDAQ at period end, including separately listed ETFs.

(8)

Represents companies listed on the exchanges that comprise NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic and companies on the alternative markets, NASDAQ OMX First North, at period end.

(9)

Total contract value of orders signed.

(10)

Represents total contract value of orders signed that are yet to be recognized as revenue. Market Technology deferred revenue, as discussed in Note 7, “Deferred Revenue” to the consolidated financial statements, represents cash payments received that are yet to be recognized as revenue for these signed orders.

 

Segment Operating Results

 

Of our 2010 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,522 million, 67.3% was from our Market Services segment, 22.6% was from our Issuer Services segment, 10.0% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.1% related to other revenues. Of our 2009 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,453 million, 67.2% was from our Market Services segment, 22.7% was from our Issuer Services segment, 10.0% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.1% related to other revenues. Of our 2008 revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $1,460 million, 67.5% was from our Market Services segment, 23.5% was from our Issuer Services segment, 8.2% was from our Market Technology segment and 0.8% related to other revenues.

 

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The following table shows our total revenues, cost of revenues and revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees by segment:

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Percentage Change  
     2010     2009     2008     2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
     (in millions)              

Market Services

   $ 2,700      $ 2,934      $ 3,176        (8.0 )%      (7.6 )% 

Cost of revenues

     (1,675     (1,958     (2,190     (14.5 )%      (10.6 )% 
                                        

Market Services revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     1,025        976        986        5.0     (1.0 )% 

Issuer Services

     344        330        343        4.2     (3.8 )% 

Market Technology

     152        145        119        4.8     21.8

Other

     1        2        12        (50.0 )%      (83.3 )% 
                                        

Total revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

   $ 1,522      $ 1,453      $ 1,460        4.7     (0.5 )% 
                                        

 

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MARKET SERVICES

 

The following table shows total revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees from our Market Services segment:

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Percentage Change  
     2010     2009     2008     2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
     (in millions)              

Transaction Services

          

Cash Equity Trading Revenues:

          

U.S. cash equity trading (1)

   $ 1,600      $ 2,010      $ 2,412        (20.4 )%      (16.7 )% 

Cost of revenues:

          

Transaction rebates

     (1,094     (1,394     (1,718     (21.5 )%      (18.9 )% 

Brokerage, clearance and exchange fees (1)

     (341     (467     (444     (27.0 )%      5.2
                                        

Total U.S. cash equity cost of revenues

     (1,435     (1,861     (2,162     (22.9 )%      (13.9 )% 
                                        

U.S. cash equity trading revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     165        149        250        10.7     (40.4 )% 

European cash equity trading

     90        95        116        (5.3 )%      (18.1 )% 
                                        

Total cash equity trading revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     255        244        366        4.5     (33.3 )% 
                                        

Derivative Trading and Clearing Revenues:

          

U.S. derivative trading and clearing (2)

     390        232        93        68.1     #   

Cost of revenues:

          

Transaction rebates

     (218     (81     (26     #        #   

Brokerage, clearance and exchange fees (2)

     (22     (16     (2     37.5     #   
                                        

Total U.S. derivative trading and clearing cost of revenues

     (240     (97     (28     #        #   
                                        

U.S. derivative trading and clearing revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     150        135        65        11.1     #   
                                        

European derivative trading and clearing revenues

     115        87        64        32.2     35.9
                                        

Total derivative trading and clearing revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     265        222        129        19.4     72.1
                                        

Access Services Revenues

     173        144        112        20.1     28.6
                                        

Total Transaction Services revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

     693        610        607        13.6     0.5
                                        

Market Data

          

Net U.S. tape plans

     117        128        146        (8.6 )%      (12.3 )% 

U.S. market data products

     126        119        107        5.9     11.2

European market data products

     70        78        77        (10.3 )%      1.3
                                        

Total Market Data revenues

     313        325        330        (3.7 )%      (1.5 )% 
                                        

Broker Services

     15        32        41        (53.1 )%      (22.0 )% 
                                        

Other Market Services

     4        9        8        (55.6 )%      12.5
                                        

Total Market Services revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees

   $ 1,025      $ 976      $ 986        5.0     (1.0 )% 
                                        

 

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# Denotes a variance equal to or greater than 100.0%.
(1)

Includes Section 31 fees of $252 million in 2010, $314 million in 2009 and $207 million in 2008. Section 31 fees are recorded as U.S. cash equity trading revenues with a corresponding amount recorded in cost of revenues.

(2)

Includes Section 31 fees of $19 million in 2010, $14 million in 2009 and $2 million in 2008. Section 31 fees are recorded as U.S. derivative trading and clearing revenues with a corresponding amount recorded in cost of revenues.

 

Transaction Services

 

Transaction Services revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increases were primarily due to increases in derivative trading and clearing revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees and access services revenues. Partially offsetting the increase in 2009 was a decrease in cash equity trading revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees.

 

U.S. Cash Equity Trading Revenues

 

U.S. cash equity trading revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to modified rates and lower tiered rebate payouts, partially offset by a significant decline in industry volumes and a decline in our matched market share. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to declines in matched share volume on NASDAQ’s trading system and the average net fee per share matched on NASDAQ’s trading system.

 

U.S. cash equity trading revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to declines in matched share volume on NASDAQ’s trading system due to a significant decline in industry volumes, a decrease in Section 31 pass-through fee revenues charged by us to our customers and a decline in our matched market share. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to declines in matched share volume on NASDAQ’s trading system, partially offset by higher Section 31 revenues due to higher rates charged by us to customers beginning in the second quarter of 2009.

 

As discussed above, we record Section 31 fees as U.S. cash equity trading revenues with a corresponding amount recorded as cost of revenues. We are assessed these fees from the SEC and pass them through to our customers in the form of incremental fees. Pass-through fees can increase or decrease due to rate changes by the SEC, our percentage of the overall industry volumes processed on our systems, and differences in actual dollar value of the shares traded. Since the amount recorded in revenues is equal to the amount recorded in cost of revenues, there is no impact on our revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees. Section 31 fees were $252 million in 2010, $314 million in 2009 and $207 million in 2008. The decrease in 2010 compared with 2009 was primarily due to lower Section 31 fee rates and lower dollar value traded on NASDAQ and NASDAQ OMX BX’s trading systems. The increase in 2009 compared to 2008 was primarily due to higher Section 31 fee rates in 2009.

 

For The NASDAQ Stock Market and NASDAQ OMX PSX we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant that provides the liquidity and for NASDAQ OMX BX we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant that takes the liquidity. These transaction rebates decreased in 2010 compared to 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to declines in matched share volume on NASDAQ’s trading system due to a significant decline in industry volumes, lower tiered rebate payouts and a decline in our matched market share. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a lower number of shares matched on NASDAQ’s trading system, partially offset by an increase in the amount of the rebate offered to liquidity providers.

 

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Brokerage, clearance and exchange fees decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to a decrease in Section 31 pass-through fees, lower routing costs, and a decrease in the amount of volume routed by NASDAQ due to declines in industry volumes. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to higher Section 31 fee rates, partially offset by lower routing costs, a decrease in the amount of volume routed by NASDAQ and lower fees incurred from NSCC.

 

European Cash Equity Trading Revenues

 

European cash equity trading revenues include trading revenues from equity products traded on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic and NASDAQ OMX Baltic exchanges and NEURO (for periods prior to closing our NEURO business). European cash equity trading revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to revised trading fees introduced in the first quarter of 2010, partially offset by an increase in trading activity and a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $2 million. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a decrease in the value traded per day due to lower average market capitalization of stocks traded, partially offset by the inclusion of European cash equity trading revenues for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared to ten months in 2008. In addition, foreign exchange negatively impacted European cash equity trading revenues by $11 million in 2009.

 

U.S. Derivative Trading and Clearing Revenues

 

U.S. derivative trading and clearing revenues and revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to increases in volumes traded and market share, partially offset by lower average net fees for traded contracts. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s derivative trading revenues of $196 million for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with the inclusion of five months of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s derivative trading revenues totaling $78 million for 2008. In addition, an increase in market share contributed to these increases in 2009.

 

Similar to U.S. cash equity trading, Section 31 fees are recorded as derivative trading and clearing revenues with a corresponding amount recorded as cost of revenues. We are assessed these fees from the SEC and pass them through to our customers in the form of incremental fees. Since the amount recorded in revenues is equal to the amount recorded in cost of revenues, there is no impact on our revenues less transaction rebates, brokerage, clearance and exchange fees. Section 31 fees were $19 million in 2010, $14 million in 2009 and $2 million 2008.

 

Transaction rebates, in which we credit a portion of the per share execution charge to the market participant, increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to a revised fee structure implemented in the first quarter of 2010 along with higher volumes traded and an increase in market share. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s transaction rebates of $61 million for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with the inclusion of five months of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s transaction rebates totaling $17 million in 2008. The increase in transaction rebates in 2009 was also due to an increase in market share as discussed above.

 

Brokerage, clearance and exchange fees increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an increase in Section 31 pass-through fees. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s brokerage, clearance and exchange fees of $11 million for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with the inclusion of five months of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s brokerage, clearance and exchange fees totaling $2 million in 2008.

 

European Derivative Trading and Clearing Revenues

 

European derivative trading and clearing revenues include trading and clearing revenues from derivative products traded on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, as well as clearing revenues from resale and repurchase agreements on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, trading and clearing revenues from derivative products on NASDAQ

 

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OMX Copenhagen and revenues from NASDAQ OMX Commodities. European derivative trading and clearing revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to higher trading and clearing revenues for energy contracts, options and futures contracts and fixed income products due to the transfer of derivative volume from EDX to NASDAQ OMX in the fourth quarter of 2009. Also contributing to the increase in 2010 was transaction activity associated with clearing resale and repurchase agreements which was launched in the fourth quarter of 2010 and a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $5 million. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the growth in cleared energy products and the transfer of derivative volume from EDX to NASDAQ OMX, partially offset by an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $4 million in 2009.

 

European derivative trading and clearing revenues include:

 

   

trading and clearing revenues for options and futures contracts of $49 million in 2010 compared with $33 million in 2009 and $41 million in 2008;

 

   

trading and clearing revenues for energy and carbon products of $41 million in 2010 compared with $35 million in 2009 and $6 million for the two months included in 2008. Beginning in May 2010, trading and clearing revenues for energy and carbon products include revenues from Nord Pool;

 

   

trading and clearing revenues from fixed income products of $18 million in 2010 compared with $14 million in both 2009 and 2008; and

 

   

other revenues and fees of $7 million in 2010 compared with $5 million in 2009 and $3 million in 2008. During 2009, we began providing trading and clearing operations to a Dutch trading platform called The Order Machine, which primarily contributed to the increase in other revenues and fees in 2010 and 2009.

 

Access Services Revenues

 

Access services revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to increased demand for co-location and network connectivity services and a revised fee structure for access services. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to: (i) revised fees for access services, (ii) increases in customer demand for network connectivity, (iii) continued expansion of our co-location services and (iv) the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s access services revenues of $15 million for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with the inclusion of five months of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s access services revenues totaling $10 million in 2008.

 

Market Data

 

Market Data revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008.

 

The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to decreases in net U.S. tape plans and European market data products revenues, partially offset by an increase in U.S. market data products revenues.

 

The decline in net U.S. tape plans revenues in 2010 compared with 2009 was primarily due to declines in NASDAQ’s trading and quoting market share of U.S. cash equities, as calculated under the SEC-mandated market data revenue quoting and trading formula, and reductions in the size of the tape plan revenue pools mainly driven by declines in subscriber populations.

 

The increase in U.S. market data products revenues in 2010 compared with 2009 was primarily due to growth of new products such as BX TotalView, options data feeds and mutual fund products, partially offset by discontinued products.

 

The decrease in European market data products revenues in 2010 compared with 2009 was primarily due to declines in subscriber populations and discontinued products, partially offset by modified fees for market data products and a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $1 million.

 

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The decrease in 2009 compared with 2008 was primarily due to a decrease in net U.S. tape plans revenues, partially offset by increases in U.S. market data products revenues and the inclusion of European market data products revenues for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008, partially offset by an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $6 million.

 

The decline in net U.S. tape plans revenues in 2009 was primarily due to a decline in NASDAQ’s trading and quoting market share of U.S. cash equities and a reduction in the size of the tape plans revenue pools.

 

The increase in U.S. market data products revenues in 2009 was primarily due to growth of products such as the NASDAQ Global Index Data Service, which was launched in the first quarter of 2009, NASDAQ Last Sale, which was launched in the second quarter of 2008, and other proprietary data products.

 

Broker Services

 

Broker Services revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. These decreases were primarily due to the sale of our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom to TD Waterhouse in November 2009. The decrease in 2009 was also due to an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $6 million.

 

ISSUER SERVICES

 

The following table shows revenues from our Issuer Services segment:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Percentage Change  
       2010          2009          2008        2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
     (in millions)               

Global Listing Services:

             

Annual renewal fees

   $   113       $   117       $   125         (3.4 )%      (6.4 )% 

Listing of additional shares fees

     39         37         40         5.4     (7.5 )% 

Initial listing fees

     18         20         22         (10.0 )%      (9.1 )% 
                                           

Total U.S. listing fees

     170         174         187         (2.3 )%      (7.0 )% 

European listing fees

     49         45         48         8.9     (6.3 )% 

Corporate Solutions

     78         72         64         8.3     12.5
                                           

Total Global Listing Services

     297         291         299         2.1     (2.7 )% 

Global Index Group

     47         39         44         20.5     (11.4 )% 
                                           

Total Issuer Services revenues

   $ 344       $ 330       $ 343         4.2     (3.8 )% 
                                           

 

Global Listing Services

 

U.S. Listing Services Revenues

 

Annual renewal fees decreased in 2010 compared with 2009, primarily due to a decrease in the number of listed companies on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The number of companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market on January 1, 2010 was 2,852, compared to 3,023 on January 1, 2009, the date on which listed companies were billed their annual fees. The decrease in the number of listed companies was due to 302 delistings from The NASDAQ Stock Market in 2009, partially offset by 131 new listings in 2009.

 

Annual renewal fees decreased in 2009 compared with 2008, primarily due to a decrease in the number of listed companies on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The number of companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market on January 1, 2009 was 3,023, compared to 3,135 on January 1, 2008, the date on which listed companies were billed their annual fees. The decrease in the number of listed companies was due to 289 delistings from The NASDAQ Stock Market in 2008, partially offset by 177 new listings in 2008.

 

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The number of listed companies as of January 1, 2010, 2009 and 2008 includes separately listed ETFs. Annual renewal fees are recognized ratably over a 12-month period.

 

Listing of additional shares fees increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared to 2008. Listing of additional shares fees are amortized on a straight-line basis over an estimated service period of four years. Therefore, revenues for each year will vary depending on the change in the total shares outstanding for companies listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market in each of the preceding four years.

 

Initial listing fees decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. Initial listing fees are amortized on a straight-line basis over an estimated service period of six years. Therefore, revenues for each year will vary depending on the number of new listings, which include IPOs, in each of the preceding six years. New listings were 195 during 2010 compared with 131 during 2009 and 177 during 2008. The increase in new listings during 2010 was primarily due to a stronger IPO market and will impact future revenues as these fees are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated service period of six years.

 

European Listing Services Revenues

 

European Listing Services revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008.

 

The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an increase in the market capitalization of Nordic issuers, partially offset by a decrease in the number of listed companies from 797 as of December 31, 2009 to 780 as of December 31, 2010.

 

The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a decline in the market capitalization of Nordic issuers as well as a decrease in the number of listed companies from 824 as of December 31, 2008 to 797 as of December 31, 2009. In addition, foreign exchange negatively impacted European Listing Services revenues by $4 million in 2009. Partially offsetting the decline in 2009 was an increase in revenues due to the inclusion of European Listing Services revenues for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared to ten months in 2008.

 

European Listing Services revenues are recognized ratably over a 12-month period.

 

Corporate Solutions Revenues

 

Corporate Solutions revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008, primarily due to expanding customer utilization of Shareholder.com, Directors Desk and GlobeNewswire, as well as revenues from Bloom Partners. In addition, the inclusion of Corporate Solutions Nordic for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008 contributed to the increase in 2009. Partially offsetting these increases in 2010 and 2009 was a decrease in Carpenter Moore revenues primarily due to the sale of substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business in October 2009.

 

Global Index Group Revenues

 

Global Index Group revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an increase in underlying assets associated with NASDAQ OMX-licensed ETFs and other financial products. The Global Index Group has also seen growth in the number of products licensed and an increase in volume for licensed derivative products in 2010. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a decrease in underlying assets associated with NASDAQ OMX-licensed ETFs and a decrease in licensed derivatives and futures volumes, partially offset by futures price increases and the inclusion of a full twelve-month period of European global index revenues compared with ten months in 2008.

 

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MARKET TECHNOLOGY

 

The following table shows the revenues from our Market Technology segment:

 

    Year Ended December 31,     Percentage Change  
      2010         2009         2008       2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
          (in millions)              

Market Technology:

         

License, support and facility management revenues

  $   104      $   106      $ 77        (1.9 )%      37.7

Delivery project revenues

    17        20        13        (15.0 )%      53.8

Change request, advisory and broker surveillance revenues

    31        19        29        63.2     (34.5 )% 
                                       

Total Market Technology revenues

  $ 152      $ 145      $   119        4.8     21.8
                                       

 

Market Technology revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 primarily due to an increase in change request, advisory and broker surveillance revenues, partially offset by decreases in delivery project revenues and license, support and facility management revenues.

 

License, support and facility management revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 primarily due to a decrease in facility management revenues due to the loss of facility management customers. Partially offsetting this decrease was an increase in support revenues resulting from our acquisition of SMARTS in August 2010, clients entering the support stage of their contracts and a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $6 million in 2010.

 

Delivery project revenues decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 primarily due to higher deliveries of market technology contracts during 2009, partially offset by a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $1 million in 2010.

 

Change request, advisory and broker surveillance revenues increased in 2010 compared with 2009 primarily due to an increase in broker surveillance revenues resulting from our acquisition of SMARTS in August 2010, as well as higher change request activity during 2010.

 

Market Technology revenues increased in 2009 compared with 2008 primarily due to the inclusion of Market Technology revenues for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared to ten months in 2008, as well as increased deliveries of market technology contracts during 2009. Partially offsetting these increases was an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $14 million in 2009.

 

As of December 31, 2010, total order value, which represents the total contract value of orders signed that are yet to be recognized as revenues, was $495 million. Market Technology deferred revenue of $146 million, which is included in this amount, represents cash payments received that are yet to be recognized as revenue for these signed orders. See Note 7, “Deferred Revenue,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion. The recognition and timing of these revenues depends on many factors, including those that are not within our control. As such, the following table of Market Technology revenues to be recognized in the future represents our best estimate:

 

     Total Order
Value
 
     (in millions)  

Fiscal year ended:

  

2011

   $   146   

2012

     117   

2013

     80   

2014

     59   

2015

     44   

2016 and thereafter

     49   
        

Total

   $  495   
        

 

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Expenses

 

Operating Expenses

 

The following table shows our operating expenses:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Percentage Change  
       2010          2009          2008        2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
     (in millions)               

Compensation and benefits

   $   416       $   412       $   401         1.0     2.7

Marketing and advertising

     20         15         19         33.3     (21.1 )% 

Depreciation and amortization

     103         104         93         (1.0 )%      11.8

Professional and contract services

     78         76         72         2.6     5.6

Computer operations and data communications

     58         58         54         —          7.4

Occupancy

     88         81         65         8.6     24.6

Regulatory

     35         32         29         9.4     10.3

Merger and strategic initiatives

     4         17         25         (76.5 )%      (32.0 )% 

General, administrative and other

     89         55         62         61.8     (11.3 )% 
                                           

Total operating expenses

   $ 891       $ 850       $ 820         4.8     3.7
                                           

 

Total operating expenses increased $41 million in 2010 compared with 2009 and $30 million in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 reflects an increase in operating expenses of $27 million and an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $14 million. The increase in operating expenses of $27 million in 2010 was primarily due to an increase in general, administrative and other expense for charges incurred in connection with the January 2010 repayment of our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009, partially offset by asset retirements in the third quarter of 2009 related to obsolete technology assets. The increase in 2009 reflects an increase in operating expenses of $63 million, partially offset by a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $33 million. The increase in operating expenses of $63 million in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of OMX’s operating expenses for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008 and the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s operating expenses for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with five months in 2008.

 

Compensation and benefits expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $7 million and higher compensation expenses reflecting stronger financial performance, partially offset by a decrease in salary expense primarily due to the sale of substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business and our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom in the fourth quarter of 2009. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of OMX’s compensation and benefits expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008 as well as increased compensation and stock based compensation as a result of other recent acquisitions. Partially offsetting the increase in compensation and benefits expense in 2009 was a decrease in incentive compensation reflecting stronger financial performance in 2008, as well as a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $15 million. Headcount, including staff employed at consolidated entities where we have a controlling financial interest, increased to 2,395 employees at December 31, 2010 from 2,235 employees at December 31, 2009. Headcount at December 31, 2008 was 2,506 employees. The increase in headcount in 2010 compared with 2009 was primarily due to our recent acquisitions of SMARTS and FTEN. The decrease in headcount in 2009 compared with 2008 was primarily due to a reduction in staffing needs driven by successful integration efforts associated with our business combination with OMX AB and the acquisition of PHLX, as well as the sale of substantially all of our Carpenter Moore business and our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom as noted above.

 

Marketing and advertising expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to production and media costs of a television advertisement campaign in 2010, as well as increased advertising on behalf of new issuers. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a reduction in media production and advertising.

 

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Depreciation and amortization expense decreased slightly in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to the full amortization of a technology intangible asset in January 2010, partially offset by an unfavorable impact from foreign currency of $2 million. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s depreciation and amortization expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with five months in 2008 and the inclusion of OMX’s depreciation and amortization expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008, partially offset by a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $5 million.

 

Professional and contract services expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an unfavorable impact from foreign currency. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to expenses for consulting work performed on system upgrades, as well as the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s professional and contract services expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with five months in 2008. Partially offsetting these increases were foreign exchange, which had a favorable impact of $3 million in 2009, and lower costs due to cost savings programs that were put in place during 2009.

 

Computer operations and data communications expense remained flat in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to an increase in hardware maintenance, software leases and network costs to facilitate our recent acquisitions, as well as the inclusion of OMX’s computer operations and data communications expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with ten months in 2008, partially offset by a favorable impact from foreign exchange of $2 million.

 

Occupancy expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to an increase in co-location rent related to the build-out of our data centers, a $5 million sublease loss reserve recorded in 2010 due to our decision to vacate space we currently lease in Philadelphia and San Francisco as well as London and an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $1 million. Partially offsetting these increases in 2010 was a $8 million sublease loss reserve recorded in 2009 on the space we occupy in Stockholm, Sweden, discussed below. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to a charge incurred as a result of our decision to exercise our option to terminate our lease contract for space we occupy in Stockholm before its term and our decision to vacate part of the space we occupy in Stockholm, which resulted in recording an estimated sublease loss reserve of $8 million. In addition, an increase in co-location rent and the inclusion of NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s occupancy expense for the full twelve-month period in 2009 compared with five months in 2008 contributed to the increase in 2009. Partially offsetting this increase was foreign exchange, which had a favorable impact of $2 million for 2009.

 

Regulatory expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to outsourcing the regulation of NASDAQ OMX PHLX to FINRA in 2010. The increase in 2009 was primarily due to new regulatory fees from FINRA and an expansion of regulatory services to new markets. FINRA provides regulatory services to The NASDAQ Stock Market, The NASDAQ Options Market, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ OMX PSX and the markets operated and regulated by NASDAQ OMX BX, including the regulation of trading activity and surveillance and investigative functions.

 

Merger and strategic initiatives expense was $4 million in 2010 compared with $17 million for 2009 and $25 million in 2008. Merger and strategic initiatives expense for 2010 included legal and consulting costs related to our recent acquisitions of SMARTS and FTEN and costs related to strategic initiatives. Merger expenses for 2009 and 2008 were directly attributable to the business combination with OMX AB and the acquisition of PHLX, but did not qualify as purchase accounting adjustments. The costs primarily included consulting and legal costs related to our integration of OMX AB and PHLX. Merger expenses in 2009 also included sales and use tax exposures which existed on previous acquisitions.

 

General, administrative and other expense increased in 2010 compared with 2009 and decreased in 2009 compared with 2008. The increase in 2010 was primarily due to charges incurred related to the repayment of our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009. In January 2010, we recorded a pre-tax charge

 

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of $40 million, which included the write-off of the remaining unamortized balance of debt issuance costs incurred in conjunction with our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 of $28 million, costs to terminate our float-to-fixed interest rate swaps previously designated as a cash flow hedge of $9 million and other costs of $3 million. See “Senior Unsecured Notes, Credit Facility and Repayment of Our Senior Secured Credit Facilities in Place as of December 31, 2009,” of Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion. In addition, the increase was due to the recognition of pre-tax gains of $4 million in 2009 on the early extinguishment of debt, net of debt issuance, discussed below. Partially offsetting these increases in 2010 were asset retirements of $10 million in the third quarter of 2009 related to obsolete technology assets.

 

The decrease in general, administrative and other expense in 2009 compared with 2008 was primarily due to foreign exchange, which had a favorable impact of $6 million, the recognition of pre-tax gains of $4 million in 2009 on the early extinguishment of debt, net of debt issuance and other costs, and an improvement in collections of bad debts in 2009, partially offset by asset retirements of $10 million in 2009 related to obsolete technology assets. See “Early Extinguishment of Debt,” of Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of the early extinguishment of debt.

 

Non-operating Income and Expenses

 

The following table presents our non-operating income and expenses:

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Percentage Change  
     2010     2009     2008     2010 vs. 2009     2009 vs. 2008  
     (in millions)              

Interest income

   $         9      $         13      $         35        (30.8 )%      (62.9 )% 

Interest expense

     (102     (102     (97     —          5.2
                                        

Net interest expense

     (93     (89     (62     4.5     43.5

Dividend and investment income

     (3     2        8        #        (75.0 )% 

Loss on divesture of businesses

     (11     —          —          #        #   

Income (loss) from unconsolidated investees, net

     2        (107     27        #        #   

Loss on sale of investment security

     —          (5     —          #        #   

Gain on sales of businesses

     —          12        —          #        #   

Debt conversion expense

     —          (25     —          #        #   

Asset impairment charges

     —          —          (42     #        #   

Gain (loss) on foreign currency contracts, net

     —          —          (58     #        #   
                                        

Total non-operating income and (expenses)

   $ (105   $ (212   $ (127     (50.5 )%      66.9
                                        

 

# Denotes a variance equal to or greater than 100.0%.

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to lower average interest rates earned on our short term investments included in cash and cash equivalents, as well as on financial investments, at fair value in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to lower interest rates of approximately 2% on our investments in 2009 compared with 2008.

 

Interest Expense

 

Interest expense for 2010 was $102 million, and was comprised of $81 million in interest expense, $14 million of non-cash expense associated with accretion of the 2.50% convertible notes and $7 million in non-cash debt issuance amortization expense. Interest expense remained flat in 2010 compared with 2009 as decreases in

 

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interest expense due to lower average outstanding debt obligations in 2010 resulting from principal amortization payments made in 2009 and 2010 and repurchases of our debt during 2009 were offset by increases in interest expense due to higher average interest rates on our debt obligations.

 

Interest expense for 2009 was $102 million, and was comprised of $67 million in interest expense, $13 million of non-cash expense associated with accretion of the 2.50% convertible notes, $11 million in non-cash debt issuance amortization expense and $11 million in other related fees. Interest expense increased in 2009 compared with 2008 primarily due to a full twelve-month period of interest expense in 2009 on our outstanding debt obligations related to the OMX AB business combination compared with ten months of interest expense in 2008 and additional interest expense due to our increased outstanding debt obligations as a result of the acquisitions of PHLX and certain businesses of Nord Pool that were completed in the second half of 2008.

 

Dividend and Investment Income

 

Dividend and investment income decreased in 2010 compared with 2009 and in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in 2010 was primarily due to a decrease in the fair value of our government debt securities portfolio as a result of increased rates. The decrease in 2009 was primarily due to a decrease in the dividend per share received from our available-for-sale investment in the Oslo Børs Exchange, or Oslo, as well as a decrease in the fair value of our government debt securities portfolio classified as trading investment securities. Lower fair values were generally related to higher interest rates in 2009 on this portfolio.

 

Loss on Divestiture of Businesses

 

The loss on divestiture of businesses of $11 million in 2010 was due to our decision to close the businesses of both NEURO ($6 million) and Agora-X ($5 million) in the second quarter of 2010.

 

Income (Loss) from Unconsolidated Investees, net

 

Net income from unconsolidated investees of $2 million in 2010 was related to our share in the earnings and losses of our equity method investments. The net loss in 2009 of $107 million was primarily due to impairment charges related to our investments in NASDAQ Dubai and Agora-X and the sale of our Orc shares. See below for further discussion. The net income in 2008 of $27 million primarily related to the NASDAQ Dubai transaction in February 2008. We contributed intangible assets and $50 million in cash to NASDAQ Dubai in exchange for a 33 1 /3% equity stake in NASDAQ Dubai. One of the intangible assets contributed was the Nasdaq trade name, which had a zero carrying value on Nasdaq’s books and records prior to the transfer. As a result, we recognized a $26 million gain for the difference between Nasdaq’s carrying value and the fair value of the contributed asset on this non-monetary exchange.

 

Impairment of NASDAQ Dubai

 

In December 2009, we agreed to participate in the realignment of the ownership structure of NASDAQ Dubai. The realignment was completed in May 2010 and at that time, NASDAQ Dubai became a wholly-owned subsidiary of DFM, a publicly traded company controlled by Borse Dubai. We received a 1% equity interest in DFM in exchange for our equity interest in NASDAQ Dubai. Our existing technology and trademark licensing arrangements with Borse Dubai and NASDAQ Dubai remain unchanged.

 

In connection with the realignment of the ownership structure discussed above, a third-party specialist determined the fair value of NASDAQ Dubai. Based on this valuation, we determined our carrying value of NASDAQ Dubai was no longer recoverable and was in fact impaired, and we wrote down our investment to fair value which resulted in an $82 million pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge for the year ended December 31, 2009.

 

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At the time of the realignment in May 2010, we recorded a pre-tax, non cash loss of $1 million in income (loss) from unconsolidated investees, net in the Consolidated Statements of Income, which was based on the difference between the price of DFM common stock multiplied by the number of shares of DFM acquired and the carrying value of our investment in NASDAQ Dubai at the time of the exchange.

 

NASDAQ OMX originally contributed intangible assets and $50 million in cash to NASDAQ Dubai in exchange for a 33 1 /3% equity stake in NASDAQ Dubai in February 2008. At that time, NASDAQ OMX valued its total NASDAQ Dubai investment at $128 million. Prior to the impairment, the investment had a carrying value of $120 million.

 

Impairment of Agora-X

 

In December 2009, we entered into an agreement to increase our investment in Agora-X from 20% to 85%. In evaluating the fair value of the total investment, it was determined that our carrying value of Agora-X was no longer recoverable and was in fact impaired, and we wrote down our investment to fair value which resulted in a pre-tax, non-cash impairment charge of $5 million.

 

Sale of Orc Shares

 

During the second quarter of 2009, we sold our shares in Orc, representing 25.25% of the share capital of Orc, to a group of Swedish and other international investors for $54 million in cash. As a result of the sale, we recognized a $19 million loss, which is net of costs directly related to the sale, primarily broker fees.

 

Loss on Sale of Investment Security

 

In connection with our business combination with OMX AB, we acquired a long-term available-for-sale investment in Oslo. During the second quarter of 2009, we made a strategic decision to sell this investment, demonstrating our intent to no longer hold this investment, and recorded a $5 million loss, which is net of costs directly related to the sale, primarily broker fees.

 

In 2008, we recorded a non-cash other-than-temporary impairment charge of $35 million related to this investment, which was included in asset impairment charges in the Consolidated Statements of Income. See “Asset Impairment Charges” below for further discussion.

 

Gain on Sales of Businesses

 

In October 2009, we sold substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business. Certain assets of the western region direct practice insurance brokerage business were sold to Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. and the eastern region insurance brokerage business was sold to Aon Risk Services Companies, Inc. In connection with these sales, we recorded a gain of $7 million.

 

In November 2009, we sold our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom to TD Waterhouse and recorded a gain of $5 million.

 

Debt Conversion Expense

 

In the third quarter of 2009, we recorded debt conversion expense of $25 million related to an inducement for conversion of most of the 3.75% convertible notes into common stock. The $25 million expense included a cash inducement of $9 million, the present value of the series A convertible preferred stock issued of $15 million, and debt issuance and other costs of $1 million. See “Conversion of 3.75% Convertible Notes,” of Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” and “Preferred Stock,” of Note 12, “Stockholders’ Equity,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

 

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Asset Impairment Charges

 

In 2008, we recorded a non-cash other-than-temporary impairment charge of $35 million related to our long-term available-for-sale investment security in Oslo. See “Financial Investments,” of Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion. We also recorded a non-cash impairment loss of $7 million in 2008 from the write-down of finite-lived intangibles assets, primarily related to our insurance agency business. See Note 4, “Goodwill and Purchased Intangible Assets,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

 

Gain (Loss) on Foreign Currency Contracts, net

 

The loss on foreign currency contracts of $58 million in 2008 primarily related to a forward contract entered into to hedge the NOK cash payment for the Nord Pool transaction ($72 million) and our market technology forward currency contracts ($13 million), partially offset by gains on forward contracts entered into to hedge the foreign currency exposure on our business combination with OMX AB ($27 million).

 

See Note 15, “Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

 

Income Taxes

 

NASDAQ OMX’s income tax provision was $137 million in 2010 compared with $128 million in 2009 and $198 million in 2008. The overall effective tax rate was 26.0% in 2010, 32.7% in 2009 and 38.6% in 2008. The lower effective tax rate in 2010 when compared to 2009 was primarily due to the restructuring of certain NASDAQ OMX subsidiaries. These transactions resulted in one-time reductions in deferred tax liabilities due to a revised effective tax rate and a one-time tax deduction for a capital loss. The higher effective tax rate in 2009 was primarily due to losses on the sale of our equity method investment and an available-for-sale investment security, which are not deductible for tax purposes in the local jurisdiction where these investments were held. The lower effective tax rate in 2009 when compared with 2008 was primarily due to reductions in valuation allowances associated with certain deferred tax assets, and reductions in current year taxes in jurisdictions outside the U.S. Offsetting these decreases is the debt conversion expense, which is not deductible for U.S. tax purposes. The higher effective tax rate in 2008 was primarily due to the other-than-temporary impairment loss of $35 million on a long-term available-for-sale investment security, which is not deductible for tax purposes.

 

The effective tax rate may vary from period to period depending on, among other factors, the geographic and business mix of earnings and losses. These same and other factors, including history of pre-tax earnings and losses, are taken into account in assessing the ability to realize deferred tax assets.

 

In order to recognize and measure our unrecognized tax benefits, management determines whether a tax position is more likely than not to be sustained upon examination, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits of the position. Once it is determined that a position meets the recognition thresholds, the position is measured to determine the amount of benefit to be recognized in the consolidated financial statements. Interest and/or penalties related to income tax matters are recognized in income tax expense.

 

NASDAQ OMX and its eligible subsidiaries file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return and applicable state and local income tax returns and non-U.S. income tax returns. Federal income tax returns for the years 2007 through 2009 are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service. Several state tax returns are currently under examination by the respective tax authorities for the years 2000 through 2008 and we are subject to examination for 2009. Non-U.S. tax returns are subject to review by the respective tax authorities for years 2003 through 2009. In August 2010 we paid the state of California $2 million with respect to audits for the years 1996 through 1998 and the years 2000 through 2006. Since this amount was included in our unrecognized tax

 

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benefits as of December 31, 2009, such payment does not affect our 2010 effective tax rate. The outcome of these audits did not have a material impact on our financial position or results of operations. We anticipate that the amount of unrecognized tax benefits at December 31, 2010 will significantly decrease in the next twelve months as we expect to settle certain tax audits. The final outcome of such audits cannot yet be determined. We anticipate that such adjustments will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2010, we received an appeal from the Finnish Tax Authority in which such authority challenges certain interest expense deductions claimed by NASDAQ OMX in Finland for the years 2009 and 2008. NASDAQ OMX’s tax return position with respect to this deduction was previously reviewed and approved by the Finnish Tax Authority. The appeal also demands certain penalties be paid with regards to such tax return filing position. If the Finnish Tax Authority prevails in their challenge, additional tax and penalties for such years would total approximately $10 million. We expect the Finnish Tax Authority to agree with our position once its review is completed and, as such, it is unlikely NASDSAQ OMX will be assessed any additional tax and penalties. Through December 31, 2010, we have recorded the tax benefits associated with such filing position.

 

In June 2009, NASDAQ OMX filed an application for an advance tax ruling with the Swedish Tax Council for Advance Tax Rulings. The application was filed to confirm whether certain interest expense is deductible for Swedish tax purposes under legislation that became effective on January 1, 2009. In June 2010, we received a favorable response from the Swedish Tax Council for Advance Tax Rulings in which all members of the Council agreed that such interest expense is deductible for Swedish tax purposes. The Swedish Tax Agency has recently appealed such ruling to the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court. We expect the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court to agree with the ruling from the Swedish Tax Council for Advance Tax Rulings. For the year ended December 31, 2010, we recorded a tax benefit of $18 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, related to this matter. Since January 1, 2009, we have recorded a tax benefit of $37 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, related to this matter.

 

Net (Income) Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests

 

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests was $6 million in 2010 compared to a net loss of $3 million in 2009 and net income of $1 million in 2008. The 2010 and 2009 amounts primarily reflect losses attributable to noncontrolling interests in IDCG. The 2008 noncontrolling interests amount primarily represents 1.2% of OMX income for the period February 27, 2008 to August 27, 2008 (the effective date of the purchase of the remaining minority OMX AB shares).

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

While 2010 was still a challenging economic environment, global market and economic conditions appear to have rebounded from adverse levels experienced during 2009, and this recovery has reinvigorated financial markets. Many lenders and institutional investors have re-established their lending practices and are now able to provide increased funding to borrowers, which has resulted in improved access to credit and positive liquidity growth. Our cost and availability of funding remain healthy and we expect to be positively impacted by continued improvements in the credit markets as we expect to be able to obtain improved terms should we seek either new debt financing or refinancing of our existing obligations.

 

In January 2010, NASDAQ OMX refinanced its existing credit facilities by issuing $1 billion of senior unsecured notes, or the Notes, and entering into a $950 million senior unsecured three-year credit facility. The new credit facility provides for an unfunded $250 million revolving credit commitment (including a swingline facility and letter of credit facility), a $350 million funded Tranche A term loan, or the Term Loan A, and a $350 million funded Tranche X term loan, or the Term Loan X and, together with the Term Loan A, the Term Loans. The Notes were issued at a discount. As a result of the discount, the proceeds received from the issuance were less than the aggregate principal amounts. NASDAQ OMX applied the net proceeds of $996 million from the

 

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Notes, the $700 million funded Term Loans and cash on hand to repay all amounts outstanding under our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 and related fees. As a result, NASDAQ OMX terminated the associated credit agreement.

 

In December 2010, we entered into a $400 million senior unsecured bridge facility, of which proceeds of $370 million were utilized to partially finance the purchase of 22,781,000 shares of our outstanding common stock from Borse Dubai. See “Share Repurchase from Borse Dubai,” of Note 12, “NASDAQ OMX Stockholders’ Equity,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our share repurchase from Borse Dubai. In December 2010, we also issued $370 million of 5.25% senior unsecured notes, or the 2018 Notes. The 2018 Notes were issued at a discount and pay interest semiannually at a rate of 5.25% per annum until January 16, 2018. As a result of the discount, the proceeds received from the issuance were less than the aggregate principal amount. NASDAQ OMX applied the net proceeds of $367 million from the 2018 Notes and cash on hand of $3 million to repay all amounts outstanding under our bridge facility and terminated the bridge facility as of December 31, 2010.

 

Excluding the bridge facility, which was repaid with the net proceeds from the 2018 Notes, net proceeds from debt obligations were $2.1 billion in 2010.

 

See “Senior Unsecured Notes, Credit Facility and Repayment of Our Senior Secured Credit Facilities in Place as of December 31, 2009,” “Bridge Facility,” and “5.25% Senior Unsecured Notes,” of Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.

 

Historically, we have funded our operating activities and met our commitments through cash generated by operations, augmented by the periodic issuance of our common stock in the capital markets and by issuing debt obligations. In addition to these cash sources, we have a $250 million revolving credit commitment (including a swingline facility and letter of credit facility) under our credit facility to borrow funds.

 

In the near term, we expect that our operations will provide sufficient cash to fund our operating expenses, capital expenditures, and interest payments on our debt obligations. Working capital (calculated as current assets less current liabilities) was $279 million at December 31, 2010, compared with $516 million at December 31, 2009, a decrease of $237 million. As of December 31, 2010, our cash and cash equivalents of $315 million were primarily invested in money market funds. In the long-term, we may use both internally generated funds and external sources to satisfy our debt and other long-term liabilities.

 

Principal factors that could affect the availability of our internally-generated funds include:

 

   

deterioration of our revenues in any of our business segments;

 

   

changes in our working capital requirements; and

 

   

an increase in our expenses.

 

Principal factors that could affect our ability to obtain cash from external sources include:

 

   

operating covenants contained in our credit facility that limit our total borrowing capacity;

 

   

increases in interest rates applicable to our floating rate loans under our credit facility;

 

   

credit rating downgrades, which could limit our access to additional debt;

 

   

a decrease in the market price of our common stock; and

 

   

volatility in the public debt and equity markets.

 

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The following sections discuss the effects of changes in our cash and cash equivalents and cash flows, indebtedness, contractual obligations and contingent commitments and derivative clearing and broker-dealer net capital requirements on our liquidity and capital resources.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents and Changes in Cash Flows

 

Cash and cash equivalents include cash in banks and all non-restricted highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less at the time of purchase. The balance retained in cash and cash equivalents is a function of anticipated or possible short-term cash needs, prevailing interest rates, our investment policy and alternative investment choices. Restricted cash, which was $60 million as of December 31, 2010 and $30 million as of December 31, 2009, is not available for general use by us due to regulatory and other requirements and is classified as restricted cash in the Consolidated Balance Sheets. As of December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, current restricted cash primarily includes cash held for regulatory purposes at NASDAQ OMX Nordic. In addition, as of December 31, 2010, restricted cash also includes cash held in customer margin accounts at IDCG and NOCC. Non-current restricted cash was $105 million at December 31, 2010 and $80 million at December 31, 2009, an increase of $25 million. As of December 31, 2010 and 2009, non-current restricted cash includes a deposit in the guaranty fund of IDCG of $80 million. In addition, as of December 31, 2010, non-current restricted cash includes $25 million segregated for NOCC to improve its liquidity position and is not available for general use. These amounts are classified as non-current restricted cash in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

The following tables summarize our cash and cash equivalents and changes in cash flows:

 

     December 31,
2010
     December 31,
2009
     Percentage
Change
 
     (in millions)         

Cash and cash equivalents (1)

   $           315       $           594         (47.0 )% 

 

(1)

Cash and cash equivalents exclude restricted cash which is not available for general use by us due to regulatory and other requirements.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Percentage Change  
         2010             2009        
     (in millions)        

Cash provided by operating activities

   $ 440      $ 582        (24.4 )% 

Cash used in investing activities

     (118     (53     #   

Cash used in financing activities

     (595     (336     77.1

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (6     27        #   

 

# Denotes a variance greater than 100.0%.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

Cash and cash equivalents decreased $279 million from December 31, 2009 primarily due to cash used in financing activities and investing activities, partially offset by cash provided by operating activities.

 

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Changes in Cash Flows

 

Cash Provided by Operating Activities

 

The following items impacted our cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2010:

 

   

Net income of $389 million, plus:

 

   

Non-cash items of $172 million comprised primarily of $103 million of depreciation and amortization expense, $37 million for charges related to debt refinancing (including $28 million for the write-off of the remaining unamortized balance of debt issuance costs incurred in conjunction with our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 and $9 million in costs to terminate our float-to-fixed interest rate swaps previously designated as a cash flow hedge), $33 million of share-based compensation expense, $14 million related to accretion of our 2.50% convertible senior notes, $11 million for loss on divestiture of businesses and asset retirements and impairment charges of $6 million, partially offset by deferred taxes, net of $35 million.

 

Partially offset by an:

 

   

Increase in other assets of $79 million primarily related to a prepaid expense for a data center lease of $32 million, an increase in non-current restricted cash related to $25 million segregated for NOCC to improve its liquidity position and an increase of $30 million in current restricted cash which relates to cash held on customer margin accounts at IDCG and NOCC, as well as increases related to regulatory requirements within NASDAQ OMX Nordic.

 

   

Decrease in Section 31 fees payable to SEC of $55 million primarily due to the timing of payments, which are made twice a year in September and March, as well as lower fee rates.

 

The following items impacted our cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2009:

 

   

Net income of $263 million, plus:

 

   

Non-cash items of $271 million comprised primarily of loss from unconsolidated investees, net of $107 million, depreciation and amortization of $104 million, share-based compensation of $35 million, debt conversion expense of $25 million, accretion of 2.50% convertible senior notes of $13 million and asset retirements and impairment charges of $13 million, partially offset by gain on sales of businesses of $12 million and deferred taxes, net of $10 million.

 

   

Decrease in other assets of $130 million primarily due to a decrease in restricted cash as a result of the release of NASDAQ OMX Commodities clearing capital due to changes in our clearing capital model.

 

   

Increase in Section 31 fees payable to SEC of $88 million due to higher Section 31 fees as a result of rate increases.

 

   

Decrease in receivables, net of $33 million primarily due to decreases in our transaction services trade receivables reflecting increased tape rebates, which are netted against our tape revenue billings.

 

   

Partially offset by a:

 

   

Decrease in accounts payable and accrued expenses of $125 million primarily due to lower rebates as a result of decreased trading activity, as well as the wind-down of activities at Carpenter Moore and our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom, which were sold in the fourth quarter of 2009.

 

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Decrease in accrued personnel costs of $41 million primarily due to a decrease in our incentive compensation accrual reflecting stronger financial performance in 2008, as well as a reduction in the number of employees in 2009.

 

   

Decrease in other current liabilities of $37 million primarily due to decreases in accrued taxes as a result of payments made.

 

We expect that cash provided by operating activities may fluctuate in future periods as a result of a number of factors, including fluctuations in our operating results, accounts receivable collections, share-based compensation and the timing and amount of other payments that we make.

 

Cash Used in Investing Activities

 

Cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2010 is primarily due to purchases of trading securities, cash used for acquisitions, and purchases of property and equipment, partially offset by proceeds from sales and redemptions of trading securities. In 2009, cash used in investing activities primarily related to cash used in connection with the purchase of trading securities, as well as purchases of property and equipment. Partially offsetting cash used in 2009 was cash received from sales and redemptions of trading securities and our available-for-sale investment in Oslo, as well as cash received from the sale of our 25.25% equity method investment in Orc.

 

Cash Used in Financing Activities

 

Cash used in financing activities in 2010 primarily consisted of the repayment of debt obligations of $2.2 billion consisting of the repayment of our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 of $1.7 billion, repayment of our bridge facility of $370 million, repayment of $130 million on our Term Loans, including optional payments totaling $60 million made in the second and third quarters of 2010, and a $16 million payment related to the payoff of our subordinated debt obligation assumed in the acquisition of Nord Pool’s derivatives clearing and consulting subsidiaries. We also utilized $797 million of cash in connection with our share repurchase program, which includes our stock repurchase from Borse Dubai. These decreases were partially offset by the net proceeds from debt obligations of $2.4 billion, as discussed above.

 

See “Indebtedness” below for further discussion of our debt obligations. See “Share Repurchase from Borse Dubai,” and “Share Repurchase Program,” of Note 12, “NASDAQ OMX Stockholders’ Equity,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our share repurchase program.

 

Cash used in financing activities for 2009 consisted of $225 million in principal payments made on our senior secured term loan facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 and a $71 million payment to repay in full the vendor note issued to the previous owners of Nord Pool in connection with the acquisition of certain businesses of Nord Pool. In addition, we repurchased $47 million principal amount of our 2.50% convertible senior notes for a cash payment of $40 million and recognized a pre-tax gain of $4 million, net of debt issuance and other costs, and made a $4 million payment on our other credit facilities in 2009. We also made a $9 million payment in connection with an inducement for the conversion of our 3.75% convertible notes. For further discussion of the $9 million inducement payment, see Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” and “Preferred Stock,” of Note 12, “Stockholders’ Equity,” to the consolidated financial statements.

 

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Indebtedness

 

The following table summarizes our debt obligations by contractual maturity:

 

     Maturity Date      December 31,
2010
    December 31,
2009
 
            (in millions)  

3.75% convertible notes (net of discount) (1)

     October 2012       $         —        $         —     

$700 million senior unsecured term loan facility (2)

     January 2013         570        —     

2.50% convertible senior notes

     August 2013         388        374   

4.00% senior unsecured notes (net of discount)

     January 2015         398        —     

5.25% senior unsecured notes (net of discount)

     January 2018         367        —     

5.55% senior unsecured notes (net of discount)

     January 2020         598        —     

6.25% subordinated debt assumed from the acquisition of Nord Pool’s derivatives clearing and consulting subsidiaries

    
 
Repaid May
2010
 
  
     —          18   

$2,000 million senior secured term loan facility

    
 
Repaid January
2010
 
  
     —          1,700   
                   

Total debt obligations

        2,321        2,092   

Less current portion

        (140     (225
                   

Total long-term debt obligations

      $ 2,181      $ 1,867   
                   

 

(1)

As of December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, approximately $0.5 million aggregate principal amount of the 3.75% convertible notes remained outstanding.

(2)

In addition to our scheduled $70 million quarterly payments, we made optional payments totaling $60 million of principal on our Term Loans during the second and third quarters of 2010.

 

Senior Unsecured Notes, Credit Facility and Repayment of Our Senior Secured Credit Facilities in Place as of

December 31, 2009

 

As discussed above and in Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements, in January 2010 NASDAQ OMX issued $1 billion of Notes and entered into a $950 million senior unsecured three-year credit facility. The credit facility provides for an unfunded $250 million revolving credit commitment (including a swingline facility and letter of credit facility) and $700 million of funded Term Loans. NASDAQ OMX applied the net proceeds from the Notes, the $700 million funded Term Loans and cash on hand to repay all amounts outstanding under our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009 and related fees. As a result, NASDAQ OMX terminated the associated credit agreement.

 

The senior unsecured credit facility contains financial and operating covenants. Financial covenants include an interest expense coverage ratio and a maximum leverage ratio. The interest expense coverage ratio requires NASDAQ OMX to maintain a minimum ratio of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (as defined by the credit agreement) to cash interest expense (as defined by the credit agreement) of 4.0 to 1.0. The maximum leverage ratio of debt (excluding up to $100 million of short term borrowings in connection with regulatory requirements) to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (as defined by the credit agreement), is initially set at 3.5 to 1.0, stepping down to 3.25 to 1.0 beginning January 2012. Operating covenants include limitations on NASDAQ OMX’s ability to incur additional indebtedness, grant liens on assets, enter into affiliate transactions and pay dividends.

 

The credit facility also contains customary affirmative covenants, including access to financial statements, notice of defaults and certain other material events, maintenance of business and insurance, and events of default, including cross-defaults to our material indebtedness.

 

NASDAQ OMX is permitted to repay borrowings under the credit facility at any time in whole or in part, without penalty. We also are required to repay loans outstanding under the credit facility with net cash proceeds

 

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from sales of property and assets of NASDAQ OMX and its subsidiaries (excluding inventory sales and other sales in the ordinary course of business) and casualty and condemnation proceeds, in each case subject to specified exceptions and thresholds.

 

Bridge Facility

 

As discussed above and in Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements, in December 2010, NASDAQ OMX entered into a $400 million senior unsecured bridge facility of which proceeds of $370 million were utilized to partially finance the purchase of our stock from Borse Dubai. We applied the net proceeds from the issuance of our 2018 notes, discussed below, and cash on hand to repay all amounts outstanding under the bridge facility and terminated the bridge facility as of December 31, 2010.

 

5.25% Senior Unsecured Notes

 

In December 2010, NASDAQ OMX issued $370 million of 5.25% senior unsecured notes due 2018, at a discount. The net proceeds were $367 million. The 2018 Notes pay interest semiannually at a rate of 5.25% per annum until January 16, 2018.We applied the net proceeds from the 2018 Notes of $367 million and cash on hand of $3 million to repay all amounts outstanding under our bridge facility, as discussed above, as well as related fees.

 

Other Credit Facilities

 

In addition to the $250 million revolving credit commitment discussed above, we also have other credit facilities related to our clearinghouses in order to meet liquidity and regulatory requirements. These credit facilities, which are available in multiple currencies, primarily Swedish Krona and U.S. dollar, totaled $440 million ($196 million in available liquidity and $244 million to satisfy regulatory requirements), none of which was utilized at December 31, 2010. At December 31, 2009, these credit facilities totaled $417 million ($185 million in available liquidity and $232 million to satisfy regulatory requirements), none of which was utilized.

 

Debt Covenants

 

At December 31, 2010, we were in compliance with the covenants of all of our debt obligations.

 

Debt Obligations by Contract Maturity

 

See “Contractual Obligations and Contingent Commitments” below for our debt obligations by contract maturity, which includes both principal and interest obligations. See Note 8, “Debt Obligations,” to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our debt obligations.

 

Derivative Clearing and Broker-Dealer Net Capital Requirements

 

Derivative Clearing Operations Regulatory Capital Requirements

 

We are required to maintain minimum levels of regulatory capital for our clearing operations for NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, NASDAQ OMX Commodities and IDCG. The level of regulatory capital required to be maintained is dependent upon many factors, including market conditions and creditworthiness of the counterparty. At December 31, 2010, we were required to maintain regulatory capital of $273 million which is comprised of:

 

   

$3 million of restricted cash;

 

   

$80 million of non-current restricted cash; and

 

   

$190 million primarily in Swedish government debt securities. These securities are included in financial investments, at fair value in the Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2010.

 

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In addition, we have available credit facilities of $244 million which can be utilized to satisfy our regulatory capital requirements.

 

Broker-Dealer Net Capital Requirements

 

Our broker-dealer subsidiaries, Nasdaq Execution Services and NASDAQ Options Services, are subject to regulatory requirements intended to ensure their general financial soundness and liquidity. These requirements obligate these subsidiaries to comply with minimum net capital requirements. At December 31, 2010, Nasdaq Execution Services was required to maintain minimum net capital of $0.3 million and had total net capital of approximately $8.1 million, or $7.8 million in excess of the minimum amount required. At December 31, 2010, NASDAQ Options Services also was required to maintain minimum net capital of $0.3 million and had total net capital of approximately $5.4 million, or $5.1 million in excess of the minimum amount required.

 

Other Capital Requirements

 

NASDAQ Options Services also is required to maintain a $2.0 million minimum level of net capital under our clearing arrangement with OCC.

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

 

In addition to disclosing results determined in accordance with GAAP, we have also provided non-GAAP net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share. Management uses this non-GAAP information internally, along with GAAP information, in evaluating our performance and in making financial and operational decisions.

 

We believe our presentation of these measures provides investors with greater transparency and supplemental data relating to our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we believe the presentation of these measures is useful to investors for period-to-period comparison of results as the items described below do not reflect historical operating performance. These measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP, and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies. Investors should not rely on any single financial measure when evaluating our business. We recommend investors review the GAAP financial measures included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto. When viewed in conjunction with our GAAP results and the accompanying reconciliation, we believe these non-GAAP measures provide greater transparency and a more complete understanding of factors affecting our business than GAAP measures alone. Our management uses these measures to evaluate operating performance and management decisions made during the reporting period by excluding certain items that we believe have less significance on, or do not impact, the day-to-day performance of our business. We understand that analysts and investors regularly rely on non-GAAP financial measures, such as non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, to assess operating performance. We use non-GAAP net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share because they more clearly highlight trends in our business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures, since these measures eliminate from our results specific financial items that have less bearing on our operating performance. Non-GAAP net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX for the periods presented below is calculated by adding net income attributable to NASDAQ OMX and various non-recurring, infrequent or other charges that are not routine operating expenses, and their related income tax effects. We do not believe these items are representative of our future operating performance since these charges were not consistent with our historical and normal operating performance.

 

Non-GAAP adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2010 primarily related to the following:

 

(i) debt related charges associated with the repayment of our senior secured credit facilities in place as of December 31, 2009, (ii) loss on divestiture of businesses due to our decision to close the businesses of both NEURO and Agora-X in the second quarter of 2010, (iii) asset retirement charges primarily related to obsolete

 

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technology, (iv) workforce reduction costs, (v) sublease loss reserve charge recorded on the space we occupy in Philadelphia, San Francisco and London due to our decision to vacate this space, (vi) merger and strategic initiatives costs, primarily legal and consulting, related to our recent acquisitions of SMARTS and FTEN, as well as costs related to other strategic initiatives, (vii) adjustment to the income tax provision to reflect these non-GAAP adjustments, and (viii) non-recurring tax items, net primarily due to the permanent tax effect of the restructuring of certain NASDAQ OMX subsidiaries. This resulted in a one-time reduction in deferred tax liabilities due to a revised effective tax rate and a one-time tax deduction for a capital loss.

 

Non-GAAP adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2009 primarily related to the following:

 

(i) debt conversion expense related to an inducement for conversion of most of our 3.75% convertible notes into common stock, (ii) gain on early extinguishment of a portion of our 2.50% convertible senior notes, net of costs, (iii) impairment charges related to our investments in NASDAQ Dubai and Agora-X, as well as the sale of our Orc shares, (iv) asset retirement charges primarily related to obsolete technology, (v) loss on the sale of our available-for-sale investment security in Oslo, (vi) gain on the sale of substantially all of our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business and a gain on the sale of our Broker Services operations in the United Kingdom, (vii) workforce reduction costs, (viii) sublease loss reserve charge recorded as a result of our decision to exercise our option to terminate our lease contract for space we occupy in Stockholm before its term and our decision to vacate part of this space, (ix) merger and strategic initiatives costs, directly attributable to the business combination with OMX AB and the acquisition of PHLX, which did not qualify as purchase accounting adjustments, (x) adjustment to the income tax provision to reflect these non-GAAP adjustments, (xi) non-recurring tax items, net primarily due to reductions in 2008 U.S. tax liabilities based on recent tax return filings and reductions in U.S. tax liabilities for years which are no longer subject to examination, and (xii) other.

 

Non-GAAP adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2008 primarily related to the following:

 

(i) asset impairment charges related to a non-cash other-than-temporary impairment charge on our long-term available-for-sale investment security in Oslo and a non-cash impairment loss from the write-down of finite-lived intangible assets, primarily related to our Carpenter Moore insurance agency business, (ii) net loss on foreign currency contracts primarily related to our foreign currency forward contracts used to economically hedge our exposure related to our business combination with OMX AB and the Nord Pool transaction, (iii) a non-recurring gain on the contribution of the Nasdaq trade name in the transaction with NASDAQ Dubai, (iv) workforce reduction costs, (v) merger and strategic initiatives costs, directly attributable to the business combination with OMX AB and the acquisition of PHLX, which did not qualify as purchase accounting adjustments, (vi) adjustment to the income tax provision to reflect these non-GAAP adjustments, and (vii) other.

 

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The following table represents reconciliations between GAAP net income and diluted earnings per share and non-GAAP net income and diluted earnings per share:

 

    Year Ended
December 31, 2010
    Year Ended
December 31, 2009
    Year Ended
December 31, 2008
 
    Net
Income
    Diluted
Earnings Per
Share
    Net
Income
    Diluted
Earnings Per
Share
    Net
Income
    Diluted
Earnings Per
Share
 
    (in millions, except per share amounts)  

GAAP net income and diluted earnings per share attributable to NASDAQ OMX

  $     395      $ 1.91      $     266      $ 1.25      $     314      $ 1.55   

Non-GAAP adjustments:

           

Debt repayment

    40        0.20        —          —          —          —     

Debt conversion expense

    —          —          25        0.12        —          —     

Gain on early extinguishment of debt

    —          —          (4     (0.02     —          —     

Impairment of NASDAQ Dubai

    —          —          82        0.38        —          —     

Impairment of Agora-X

    —          —          5        0.02        —          —     

Sale of Orc shares

    —          —          19        0.09        —