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Home News EU’s Vestager says Brexit ‘not a factor’ in LSE-Deutsche Boerse probe

EU’s Vestager says Brexit ‘not a factor’ in LSE-Deutsche Boerse probe

Published on 06/10/2016

The potential implications of Brexit will not play a role in the EU's probe of a proposed mega-merger between the London stock exchange and its Frankfurt rival, competition chief Margrethe Vestager said Thursday.

The European Commission last week announced an in-depth investigation into the LSE-Deutsche Boerse tie-up, which would create a financial behemoth linking the Frankfurt-dominated eurozone to a post-Brexit London.

“It would not be serious to take Brexit into account,” Vestager told German financial newspaper Boersen-Zeitung.

“Brexit has not yet happened. We haven’t even begun the negotiations about Britain’s exit from the EU. We can’t draw up scenarios to take into consideration when we’re examining the case. That would just be guesswork.”

The EU team, led by Vestager, has 90 days to assess whether the merger would reduce competition in financial markets.

Such concerns already helped scupper two earlier attempts by the companies to merge, in 2000 and 2005.

The proposed deal has drawn sharp rebukes from France, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands, fearful that their own stock exchanges, owned by Euronext, will get buried in the aftermath.