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Facebook IPO: Will NYSE or Nasdaq Get Listing?

Amid persistent reports that Facebook will be filing its S-1 this week, there's been intense speculation about what exchange (NYSE or Nasdaq) it would choose.

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If they do file this week, they will almost certainly not announce which exchange they have chosen, because they have not made a decision. That's because they don't have to immediately.

Which one would they choose?

And the unsatisfying answer is, it depends on what really matters to Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg likely wants to project stability and strength. Of course, he can get that from both companies.

Most likely, it will get down to who offers the best co-branding. What's that? Many believe that Nasdaq got an edge over the NYSE for the Groupon listing because they offered some more creative options for co-branding. Groupon wanted a partner who would help them with vendors.

So, for example, if Groupon was doing something with Starbucks, Groupon might send out 65 million emails that references a deal with Starbucks and Groupon, with the solicitation noting that Groupon is listed on Nasdaq — Nasdaq will pick up a portion of that cost.

Sounds silly? Not at all. That's what it has become. Zillow, to take another company, might be very interested that Nasdaq can offer lots of screen space in their Times Square office.

Others may value access to designated market makers on the NYSE floor and the higher visbility for bell ringing at the NYSE.

I can tell you one thing: listing fees in a company this size is a secondary consideration. Whether it's $100,000 at Nasdaq, or as much as $500,000 at the NYSE, it is unlikely that is an issue.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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