Sources tell FOX Business that the operators of the third and fourth largest U.S. stock exchanges are discussing a possible deal that could reshape the equities-trading landscape.
A potential combination of BATS Global Markets and Direct Edge could create the second largest U.S. stock exchange. Only the New York Stock Exchange, run by NYSE Euronext (NYX) would be larger. It would push the Nasdaq OMX Group‘s (NDAQ) Nasdaq exchange to third place.
Any deal between BATS and Direct Edge would require the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Prior discussions over a possible acquisition of Direct Edge by Canada’s TMX group collapsed last year.
The SEC approved the BATS BZX Exchange in late 2011 as a rival to the NYSE and Nasdaq exchanges.
Last week, the Nasdaq had to halt trading for hours due to a technical glitch.