Nasdaq OMX Group got help from IntercontinentalExchange to make an $11.3 billion counterbid for NYSE Euronext, but ICE likely would emerge from such a deal as the biggest winner by some measures. The deal would make ICE the world's fourth-largest derivatives exchange, from No. 14. Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman and CEO at ICE, said the Nasdaq-ICE bid, compared with Deutsche Boerse's offer, would have the advantage of splitting up the exchange's main businesses of futures and stock trading.

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