Charlie Gasparino got a great interview today with NYSE Euronext CEO, Duncan Niederauer. It was his first interview since Facebook opted to list its shares on NASDAQ over the NYSE for its initial public offering of stock.
Here’s the video and the transcript:
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS: You fought hard for the Facebook listing.
DUNCAN NIEDERAUER, NYSE EURONEXT: We did.
GASPARINO: People on the floor were very disappointed. They wanted that order flow. How big of a loss was that?
NIEDERAURER: Look, we’re all disappointed. You’d like to win them all, right? I think if there silver lining to that, I’m proud what we put forward. We viewed that as a great partnership and cobranding opportunity. I think that is a discussion we wouldn’t be in the frame on a few years ago. And I think we really made it a very tough decision for them. And I’m really proud of what we accomplished in the tech sector overall the last few years here. That would have been a nice one to win, no doubt about it.
GASPARINO: What did you offer them?
NIEDERAURER: I don’t think we should get into too many details. I will tell you it was a pretty comprehensive proposal. As I said, we viewed it as a opportunity, there was a lot of things, there was a lot of common DNA between them running the largest social network and us running the largest business network. And we thought there was a lot of ways to bring that together.
GASPARINO: Ah, that’s … sort of like a cross-platform sort of partnership?
NIEDERAURER: Yes. I thought if you’re Facebook, a lot of customers you would like to get, you know, using the social media platforms more are consumer brands listed here. So, we were trying to pick up on our community a lot. Look, net-net, Charlie, as I said you like to win them all that. That’s one listing. We’ve gone from 0 to 60 in terms of the tech space in the last five years. And we’ll keep fighting.
GASPARINO: And last week you won TD Ameritrade.
NIEDERAURER: Right. TD just came over here.
GASPARINO: Did you think you had a legitimate shot at Facebook? Because –
NIEDERAURER: We did.
GASPARINO: — there is lots of reasons why to go to the NASDAQ if you’re with them. You’re with Apple, you’re with Google.
NIEDERAURER: Yes, I mean, I think there used to be. It was easier for companies to sort of choose their exchange. And I think what we’ve tried to change the last four or five years is to say we may have abdicated that technology sector a few years ago. Let’s get there and fight hard for everyone. And I think the results — you see a LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) coming here, a Yelp (NYSE:YELP) coming here, a Demand Media (NYSE:DMD) coming here, an Exact Target coming here, a Pandora coming here.
The track record is pretty good lately. But that was a big one, no doubt about it.
GASPARINO: So, you are going to continue to compete?
NIEDERAURER: Oh, yes. We have 60 percent of the them year-to-date. So, we’ll hang in there. This is just one deal.
GASPARINO: What is interesting there is a amazing rivalry between you, at the New York Stock Exchange, and Bob Greifeld at the NASDAQ. Is it a personal rivalry, sir? I get the feeling from seeing you guys, you kind of don’t like each other?
NIEDERAURER: I think that is pretty much overstated. Someone gave me a great sports analogy –
GASPARINO: That is what reporters are supposed to do.
NIEDERAURER: Yes, I know. That’s okay. That’s your job, Charlie. Someone gave me a great sports analogy the other day. They said it’s like Pitino and Calipari, right?
GASPARINO: So you do hate each other.
NIEDERAURER: No, they don’t hate each other. Come on. They fight every day over the same recruits. They’re fighting to win the hearts and minds of Kentucky basketball fans. And we’ll fight really hard on the field, but at the same time we got some common interests. You look what is going on in the market right now, the two of us do run the largest exchanges in the U.S..
NIEDERAURER: We have an opacity problem in the markets. Forget the fragmentation. I think the bigger issue that we’re only starting to talk more about is almost 40 percent of the market isn’t getting to his exchange or mine. So, I think the two of us have a lot more in common we should be working on.
That’s a pretty interesting insight into just how far NYSE was willing to go for Facebook – and you have to wonder just what NASDAQ did to boat that bass.
Also interesting is the stuff about how Niederaurer sees NYSE and NASDAQ as partners in many respects. Watch the rest of the clip and the second half of the interview in this other video segment to get more on the possibility of a NYSE-NASDAQ alliance, and what regulators will likely have to say about the deal.