Newswires eye NASDAQ issue

NEW YORK: Newswire companies are closely monitoring NASDAQ's proposal to increase listing fees for member companies while offering the services of recently acquired Primezone in the process.

NEW YORK: Newswire companies are closely monitoring NASDAQ's proposal to increase listing fees for member companies while offering the services of recently acquired Primezone in the process.

As part of NASDAQ's plan, which would raise listing fees to $30,000 to $95,000 from $24,500 to $75,000, member companies would be entitled to four press releases a year as well as Web cast services.

Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Market Wire have responded to the Securities and Exchange Commission call for comments and oppose NASDAQ's proposal, calling it anti-competitive.

"We're bringing new competition to a space that's been dominated by two players controlling almost 90% of the market," said Bethany Sherman, SVP of corporate communications for NASDAQ. "We believe that newswire customers will be the beneficiaries of vigorous competition."

NASDAQ estimates that even if all of its member companies took advantage of the newswire services, it would only shift the market share 6%.

"We don't think it benefits anyone but NASDAQ," said Cathy Baron-Tamraz, CEO of BW. "It doesn't benefit a company that will be forced to pay twice if they remain with their newswire of choice."

The SEC's comment period closed last week and it is expected to make a decision early next year.

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