Next Step for Exchange Deal

Terry Flanagan

As previously announced by NYSE Euronext Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer, the proposed deal with Deutsche Borse is officially heading into the next phase of European Commission regulatory review.

The European Commission said on Aug. 5 that it has entered into the next phase of its investigation into the planned merger between NYSE and Deutsche Borse, following the conclusion of its initial review. During the first phase, the exchange operators’ peers, competitors, and other market participants were polled as to their concerns on the potential deal.

During the next phase, the European Commission will investigate the issues discovered in its initial review and come to a final decision regarding whether the proposed transaction would affect the competitive landscape in Europe.

The process is expected to last as long as 90 days, but the period may be extended if necessary.

Spokespeople from NYSE and Deutsche Borse each declined to comment any further on the deal than what was stated in the release.

“The proposed merger would remove a strong competitor from the market and would give the merged company by far the leading position in derivatives trading in Europe,” Joaquin Almunia, the EC’s vice president of competition, said in the release. “The commission needs to make sure that markets which are at the heart of the financial sector remain competitive and efficiently deliver to users.”

In response, NYSE and Deutsche Borse issued their own statement, stating that they “remain confident that their planned combination will be approved. The companies have had open and constructive discussions with European Commission staff throughout, and look forward to continuing to work closely with the European Commission to obtain clearance for a transaction that will deliver an extraordinarily broad range of benefits to European market participants.”

The companies expect the deal to allow them to save as much as $3 billion in capital requirements as well as reduce any duplicative infrastructures and operations.

As noted by Niederauer earlier in the week, the merger parties expect the commission to outline any of its concerns by October, allowing a chance to respond or if necessary, comply. Following that, if the process goes according to projections, the exchange giants expect the transaction to close by the end of the calendar year.

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