Nasdaq (NDAQ) May Need to Upgrade Key Asset Following SEC Inquiry

June 29, 2012 9:59 AM EDT
The Facebook/Nasdaq saga carries on. Today, Chapter 12: Fixing the Glitch.

According to reports out Friday, Nasdaq OMX (Nasdaq: NDAQ) could be forced into an entire overhaul of its trading systems following investigation by the U.S. SEC over what happened during the much-anticipated Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) last month. The missteps during Facebook's IPO caused millions of dollars in losses due to missed and inadvertent trades.

As part of the inquiry, according to the WSJ citing persons familiar with the matter, the SEC might demand that the Nasdaq "revamp its processes for developing, changing, testing and implementing the computer code used in initial public offerings and other exchange functions."

In addition to the social scar the new requirements might leave -- the Nasdaq always prided itself as being a leader in trading technology -- there's also the costs associated with such a revamp.

Earlier this month, Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld admitted to mistakes during the Facebook IPO. It also tapped International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) to evaluate the systems and advise the company on its technology systems. The exchange is also evaluating its management structure.

Though nothing has been determined yet, Nasdaq plans to submit a plan on compensating brokers following the botched IPO within the next week or so. Conversations will continue between the SEC and Nasdaq over the next few weeks in order for the two to come to an agreement about which direction should be taken for the Nasdaq.

In the meantime, Facebook is now well above lows hit following the IPO as sentiment returns to the social networking giant on its marketing and advertising capabilities. Shares are indicated for a higher open Friday.

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