With the merger between the New York Stock Exchange and Archipelago Holdings (NYSE:AX) now just waiting on a formal vote come Tuesday, indications suggest that the market likes the pairing of the old-school trading institution with the new-economy ArcaEx electronic exchange.

Yesterday, one of the 1,365 seats on the NYSE went for a record $4 million -- nearly three times what the spots were fetching just before Archipelago and the historical exchange announced their planned combination earlier this year. The lofty price comes just two weeks after the exchange settled with some dissident shareholders who were objecting to the deal.

The Big Board has been struggling as nimbler exchanges such as Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and Archipelago's ArcaEx have crashed the party. The NYSE's share of trades that it oversaw in NYSE-listed securities fell to 75% for the month of October, its thinnest slice of market share on record. It's a sobering wake-up call when even its own home turf isn't secure. That's why the NYSE needs Archipelago.

The market seems to like the chances for success of the united exchanges. Archipelago shares have soared 185% since being recommended earlier this year in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service, just months before the deal was announced.

As long as your name isn't Refco, it's good to be in the trade trade these days. Archipelago and Nasdaq are joined on the winners' circle with the likes of The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NYSE:CME) and CBOT Holdings (NYSE:BOT). OK, so maybe Instinet (NASDAQ:INGP) could use a muse to learn that winning-touch trick. No sector is perfect. However, as Archipelago and the NYSE get ready to exchange their vows, it's clear that folks are willing to pay a lot of money to be seated at the ceremony.

Man, just wait until the reception.

Archipelago is one of three different Rule Breakers to have more than doubled this year. Want to learn about the others? Take us up on a 30-day trial subscription.

Fools, now is the time to open your hearts and wallets to worthy causes! Please support our five Foolish charities at www.foolanthropy.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that bids and asks are romantic in the appropriate context. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.