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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Firm Seeks Exchange Status

NEW YORK -- Archipelago, a privately-held company that runs a computer matching system for stock purchases, says it has formally sought approval from federal regulators to become a national securities exchange.

The firm said Monday that it had filed a Form 1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which if approved would allow it to become a self-regulating exchange. It was not immediately clear when the SEC would consider the application or rule on it.

Company representatives were not available for comment.

The two-year old firm that ranks fourth among electronic communications networks, or ECNs, has investments from Instinet, the current leader in off-exchange stock trading, as well as E*Trade Group Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan & Co., each of which own 16.4 percent.

Instinet is owned by Reuters Group PLC, a news and information company.

"Archipelago has the right technology, approach and business partners to create a self-regulating exchange. We look forward to working closely with the SEC in an effort to efficiently expedite the registration process," Archipelago chief executive Jerry Putnam said in a statement.

ECNs compete with traditional stock exchanges and stay open longer. The systems match buy and sell orders for half a cent to a couple of pennies a share. Archipelago now specializes in stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock market, but the regulatory filing, if approved, would enable the company to trade New York Stock Exchange-listed shares.

The company is also likely to sell stock in an initial public offering early next year, Putnam said last month.