News Release

Statement by the NASD on Department of Justice Settlement

The following is a statement by Joseph R. Hardiman, President and CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., on the settlement between the Department of Justice and certain Nasdaq market makers.

"The resolution of the investigation by the Department of Justice of activities by certain Nasdaq market makers is a positive step for all participants in the nation's financial markets.

"The NASD cooperated fully with the Department of Justice throughout its investigation. If that investigation should disclose instances of individuals engaging in illegal activity in The Nasdaq Stock Market, they will be actively pursued by NASD Regulation.

"We will monitor closely the implementation by the market-making firms of their enhanced compliance systems. These initiatives, combined with the NASD's development of enhanced order-handling and surveillance systems, demonstrate that investors' interests are protected in The Nasdaq Stock Market.

"In recent years the NASD has invested heavily in new systems and facilities for The Nasdaq Stock Market to increase its efficiency and capacity. In addition, it has substantially upgraded and expanded the capabilities of NASD Regulation to provide a high level of investor protection.

"Free, open, and fair competition is the foundation of America's financial markets and the NASD will continue to commit the necessary resources to assure investors that standard is met by The Nasdaq Stock Market."