Historically most exchanges were not-for-profit organizations owned by their members. Over the past few years, there has been a trend among exchanges to consider alternative governance structures to these traditional mutual or cooperative models. In most cases, the exchanges have been transformed into for-profit shareholder-owned enterprises. In particular, the most important European stock exchanges, following their demutualisation, have recently become public companies listed on their own exchanges. These changes were induced by an increase in competition among exchanges, due to technological progress and to deregulation (EU Directive 93/22/CEE). However these changes raise a number of questions and concerns regarding, for example, the increase of conflicts of interest among the regulators, the shareholders and the principal customers of the exchange.
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