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EC blocks NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Borse merger

The EC has blocked the merger between Deutsche Borse and NYSE Euronext, citing competition concerns.

01 February 2012

Negotiation strategies may no longer be needed by NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Borse, as the European Commission (EC) has blocked the proposed join-up between the two groups.

It made this decision on the basis of European Union Merger Regulations and argued the scheme would result in a monopoly controlling "the area of European financial derivatives traded globally on exchanges".

Commission vice-president in charge of competition policy Joaquin Almunia said: "These markets are at the heart of the financial system and it is crucial for the whole European economy that they remain competitive."

Newly-formed rivals would be unable to successfully enter the sector enough to pose any kind of threat to the merged enterprise, it was argued.

Although both groups had offered to offload some of their assets and enable other firms to have access to some contract categories in their clearinghouses, these offerings were deemed to be inadequate to resolve the concerns expressed.

NYSE Euronext confirmed the two organisations are currently discussing terminating their intended merger and chairman of the organisation Jan-Michiel Hessels expressed his disappointment with the EC's decision.

Posted by David Gleck

Source: EC press release, February 1st

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