The New York Stock Exchange may buy its rival, the American Stock Exchange, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The deal could be priced at as much as $350 million.

The privately-held American Stock Exchange, known as the Amex, is also reported to be pursuing talks with exchanges in Canada and Europe. However, local competitor NYSE is thought to have the inside track.

At $350 million, an Amex buy would be cheap compared to another prospective target for NYSE, the commodities-oriented New York Mercantile Exchange, which is said to be capable of fetching $11 billion.

A NYSE-Amex hook-up would be the first big move by NYSE Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer, who replaced former NYSE head John Thain when he left the exchange in late 2007. Under Thain, the NYSE bought electronic exchange operator Archipelago Holdings Inc. and the European exchange operator, Euronext NV.

Last year, Nasdaq bought the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for $650 million.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.