Financial News Online reports that stakeholders in Swedish exchange OMX threatened to refuse Nasdaq's offer unless officials could ensure that the merger would not make them subject to U.S. regulation. Writing in a Swedish newspaper, both the CEO and the chairman of OMX told investors they would not have made the deal if it meant the exchange would be saddled with U.S. requirements.
It's not the first time these concerns have raised their ugly heads. Before Euronext merged with the New York Stock Exchange in April, attorneys for both sides took specific steps to ensure that Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements would not apply to the European arm of the new exchange.
And despite confirmation from the Securities and Exchange Commission that "local regulation of local markets" is important, fears of Sarbox-like regulation reportedly put the kibosh on merger talks between Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange earlier this year.