Regulators cleared Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.'s plan to pay $62 million to compensate brokers for its mishandling of Facebook Inc.'s public debut, dealing a defeat to Wall Street firms that say they lost many times that amount.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved Nasdaq's request to change its rules and expand the compensation pool for member firms in the May 18 initial public offering. The funds will go to traders who lost money after a design flaw in the exchange's computers delayed Facebook's open and left traders confused about how many shares they owned.

Nasdaq's proposal was opposed by Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG, which said in letters urging the SEC to reject it that losses within their market-making units exceeded $62 million. Nasdaq, balancing its role as an organization with legal immunity for technology breakdowns with its obligations to members, said the pool covers "objective, discernible" losses suffered by brokers.

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