The owner of the New York Stock Exchange, whose share of trading in companies it lists has plunged in the last nine years to below 25 percent from 82 percent, received approval from U.S. regulators to offer trading services similar to rivals who are taking its customers.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a request by NYSE Euronext to keep some orders on the New York Stock Exchange undisplayed. The NYSE's new program, which will launch on Aug. 1, will make it the first U.S. stock exchange permitted to offer retail investors stock quotes in fractions of a penny.

The move aims to help the Big Board compete with the so-called dark pools that have been taking the NYSE's market share. Dark pools are private platforms designed for anonymous trades of large blocks of shares by institutional investors.

The NYSE is responding to competition from wholesalers and dark pools, James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University's business school in Washington, said to Bloomberg News. They are doing the, 'If you can't beat 'em join 'em,' thing.