Facebook picks Nasdaq (rumor)

Robert Greifeld's Nasdaq has reportedly won the war against Duncan Niederauer's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for getting FB. Facebook will start trading on Nasdaq, according to a new rumor.

A vicious Facebook war between Duncan Niederauer's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) versus Robert Greifeld's Nasdaq has been raging for the last few months. We already know Facebook's ticker symbol is FB, but the company hasn't revealed what exchange it will be listed on. It turns out the social network giant will list its shares on Nasdaq, according to people with knowledge of the matter cited by The New York Times.

Both the NYSE and Nasdaq want to have the company's stock symbol on their exchange. The two have been campaigning aggressively for the listing during the past year, trying to sway Facebook CFO David Ebersman and other executives.

Historically, Nasdaq has been the listing platform for technology startups, but in recent years, the NYSE has responded by being more aggressive in courting them onto its platform. That's because winning a Facebook listing could jump-start an equity market for either exchange platform. Most importantly, it could mean a boost of their reputation on Wall Street.

Last week, Facebook halted the trading of its shares on secondary markets in advance of its $5 billion initial public offering (IPO). The move ended price fluctuations in private trading (the last unofficial Facebook valuation was $102.8 billion), giving Facebook time to account for its shareholding base as it makes final preparations for its IPO, including determining a valuation with bankers and investors, and picking an exchange.

It's important to remember that we won't know what the company's actual valuation is until right before the offering is made, which typically occurs about three months after the company files for its IPO. Indeed, the latest rumor slates May 2012 as the expected timeframe for Facebook going public. An exact date still hasn't been determined, but you can expect those rumors to start soon, along with the speculation of what valuation Facebook will go public at. Will it be $100 billion?

I have contacted Facebook to verify if Nasdaq has beaten NYSE and will update you if I hear back.

Update at 11:45 AM PST: Facebook declined to comment on this article.

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