Nasdaq, ICE in "critical stage" talks: report

NEW YORK Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:23pm EST

A pedestrian walks past the NASDAQ building in New York City, April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A pedestrian walks past the NASDAQ building in New York City, April 30, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O) and IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N) could possibly strike a partnership and talks between the U.S.-based exchange operators are at a "critical stage," Fox Business Network reported on Thursday.

The network said the Nasdaq Stock Market parent has hired Bank of America to look at possible deals in the wake of this week's announced tie-up between larger rivals Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1Gn.DE) and NYSE Euronext NYX.N.

Representatives from Nasdaq OMX were not immediately available. A spokeswoman from ICE, which is the larger exchange, declined to comment. Bank of America also declined to comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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