Zynga picks NASDAQ for IPO

Exchange secures high-profile listing in face of strong competition from NYSE for tech stocks

NASDAQ scored a victory over rival the NYSE this week when it bagged the forthcoming IPO of online games company Zynga.

The decision, revealed by Zynga in an updated filing with the SEC yesterday, follows a year in which the two US exchanges have competed hard for marquee tech listings.

NASDAQ has traditionally been the venue of choice for US tech stocks, playing host to giants such as Google, Microsoft and Apple.

But the NYSE has eaten into NASDAQ’s territory this year, with a series of high-profile tech listings including internet radio service Pandora, Chinese social networking site Renren and business networking site LinkedIn.

As a result, the NYSE grabbed more of the tech listings market than NASDAQ during the first half of 2011, according to data from Dealogic.

Free services

The NYSE received a boost to its listings business in August, when the SEC cleared it to continue offering packages of free IR services to listed companies.

The practice had been bitterly opposed by service providers outside of the exchange’s chosen partners, which argued it stifled competition and innovation.

NASDAQ has since requested permission to hand out its own package of free services to new listings and companies switching from the NYSE.

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