German financial watchdog BaFin has given the all-clear to the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext.
‘BaFin’s overall conclusion was that there are no grounds against the merger in Germany in terms of banking supervisory regulations,’ says the German exchange in a statement on its website.
The deal, which has received approval from the shareholders of both exchange groups, still has other regulatory hurdles to clear.
The most difficult is expected to be the investigation by the European Commission’s (EC) competition authorities.
In August, the EC opened a new, in-depth probe into the merger after an initial investigation found ‘competition concerns in a number of areas, in particular in the field of derivatives trading and clearing’.
Developments in the last few days have made the deal look more likely to get the go-ahead from regulators, however.
On Friday, Reuters reported that the EC would not impose ‘serious antitrust restrictions’ on the merger because the commission’s regulatory and antitrust units had ‘struck a deal’.
The deal would allow the merger to go through on the condition that areas such as clearing, indexes and data are opened up to more competition, reported Reuters.
Today, an executive of NYSE Euronext, Lawrence Leibowitz, has been quoted by Reuters as saying he is not aware of any such deal.
The proposed tie-up between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext is the last stock exchange merger left standing, following the collapse of deals between the Australian Stock Exchange and Singapore Exchange, and between the London Stock Exchange and Canada’s TMX Group.
During this wave of attempted consolidation, NASDAQ OMX and IntercontinentalExchange teamed up to try to snatch NYSE Euronext away from its merger with Deutsche Börse, but they pulled their bid after it become clear competition authorities would not allow it.
[Article by Tim Human, Inside Investor Relations]
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