European antitrust regulators wave through exchange merger

THE EC yesterday gave unconditional approval to IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2bn, a deal that strengthens ICE’s presence in the lucrative derivatives trading business.

The EU regulator said its investigation into the merger found it would not raise antitrust concerns as the two exchanges are not direct competitors.

“The market investigation revealed that they do not exert a greater potential competitive threat on each other compared to other exchanges. Any anticompetitive effects can therefore be excluded,” the Commission said in a statement.

The combined ICE-NYSE Euronext would be the third-largest exchange group globally.

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