The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse have officially submitted their merger to European Union competition regulators.
The exchanges hope to complete their merger in the first half of next year, and gaining approval from the EU Commission is seen as one of the major hurdles for the deal.
The governments of France, Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal have all voiced opposition to the merger. In addition, rival exchange group Euronext is known to have concerns over the deal.
The companies said in a statement today:
Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange Group confirm that they have filed their submission to the EU Commission as part of the process to obtain the necessary regulatory consents for the merger.
We believe the merger will create significant value for our customers and shareholders, and facilitate economic growth through the creation of a global markets infrastructure group, anchored in Europe.
In an interview with City A.M. last month, Euronext chief executive Stephane Boujnah noted the opposition of various governments, saying:
The point-of-views of Euronext are just one part of the equation, but you’ve seen that the government of France, the government of Portugal, the government of Belgium and, to the best of my understanding, even very recently the government of Netherlands… have expressed their views.
So it’s not a French issue, it’s not a Euronext issue.
He also said that his company, which has been linked with parts of the LSE, such as Clearnet and Borsa Italiana, will “monitor the situation closely”.
The European Investors’ Association has also written to the EU Commission, saying it is “highly concerned” about the merger. And this week Dutch SME association MKB-Nederland express its reservations over the deal.