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The New York Stock Exchange is being sold to a rival exchange for about $US8 billion ($A7.7 billion), ending more than two centuries of independence for the iconic Big Board.

IntercontinentalExchange Inc, an upstart exchange based in Atlanta, said on Thursday that NYSE Euronext Inc shareholders can choose to receive either $US33.12 in cash, 0.2581 IntercontinentalExchange Inc shares, or a combination of $US11.27 in cash plus 0.1703 shares of stock.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, but will have to be approved by regulators.

Last year, IntercontinentalExchange and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc made a failed $US11 billion ($A10.5 billion) bid to buy NYSE Euronext.

Earlier this year, European regulators blocked Deutsche Boerse AG from buying NYSE Euronext.