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New York Stock Exchange sold to a rival exchange

Steve Rothwell for the Associated Press:

In a deal that highlights the dwindling stature of what was once a centerpiece of capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange is being sold to a little-known rival for $8 billion — $3 billion less than it would have fetched in a proposed takeover just last year.

The buyer is IntercontinentalExchange, a 12-year-old exchange headquartered in Atlanta that deals in investing contracts known as futures.

It honestly never occurred to me until reading this story that one could buy or sell a stock exchange. But then, it’s got to be operated by someone, right? In this case, the parent company is NYSE Euronext, which IntercontinentalExchange has acquired in this deal.